LACEY, Wash. — The Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation has made a commitment of $2.8 million to Saint Martin’s University to support the renovation of the first floor of Old Main to create dedicated facilities for the University’s nursing programs, which include the BSN program and the RN-to-BSN program. The foundation’s commitment includes $2.5 million to cover the costs of the remodel and $300,000 to establish an endowment in support of nursing scholarships. In addition, Saint Martin’s Abbey has made a gift of $750,000 to support the renovation. This totals $3.5 million raised to ensure the success of the University’s nursing program. This summer, the University will begin remodeling 12,000 square feet of space within Old Main to create an eight-bed nursing learning lab, two-bed simulation suite, classroom, faculty offices and equipment storage rooms.
Abbot Neal Roth, O.S.B., major superior of the Saint Martin’s Abbey and chancellor of Saint Martin’s University, spoke about the significance of the Abbey’s gift. “Saint Martin’s University is the principal mission of Saint Martin’s Abbey, and we will always do what we can to support it. Supporting the nursing program means that future nurses will be serving thousands upon thousands of people during their lifetimes of service, which certainly reflects our Benedictine values.”
For fall 2019, Saint Martin’s will admit 25 first-year students for its four-year BSN program and will begin admitting upper division transfer students in fall 2020. When fully enrolled the BSN program will have two cohorts of 24 each year, graduating 48 students annually. The Saint Martin’s RN-to-BSN program will continue to provide an option for local nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma to complete their BSN in a year.
“The BSN program at Saint Martin’s will fill a critical need for nurses at a time when the nursing workforce and patients are aging. The generous gifts from the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation and the Abbey will allow us to build state-of-the-art nursing learning and simulation labs for our students to learn and practice their skills,” said Teri Moser Woo, Ph.D., RN, ARNP, CPNP-PC, CNL, FAANP, director of nursing at Saint Martin’s.
In summer 2018, the Saint Martin’s nursing programs received a boon in the form of the nursing equipment that the University won in an auction from St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. St. Gregory’s, a Benedictine university, closed in fall 2017 due to financial difficulties, and Woo, Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim dean of the School of Business, Philip Cheek, director of grounds and facilities and Jeremy Fleury, maintenance technician, traveled to the St. Gregory’s campus to pack the equipment and bring it back to Saint Martin’s.
The original nursing program at Saint Martin’s, the RN-to-BSN program, began in 1986, with Maddy deGive, Ph.D., as the director. In the 1990s, the program added master’s degrees for family nurse practitioners and for health policy. These nursing programs were phased out in the late 1990s when enrollment declined. In 2010, Washington set a goal for academic progression in nursing for 80 percent of RNs to obtain BSN degrees or higher by 2020, which led to a decision to reinstate Saint Martin’s RN-to-BSN program. In 2012, Saint Martin’s admitted a new class of RN-to-BSN students into the program. The program is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The RN to BSN program has graduated 82 students since 2012.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors and 11 graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
For additional information:
Teri Moser Woo, Ph.D., RN, ARNP, CPNP-PC, CNL, FAANP
Director of Nursing
Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Office of Marketing and Communications
Media Relations Manager