Inside USD

Breaking New Ground: Work Begins on $18M Beyster Nursing Institute

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Florence Nightingale would be proud.

On May 12, the birthday of the first nurse-scientist, USD officially broke ground on the $18 million Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice and Simulation.

The institute “ultimately will stand as a symbol that nursing is indeed a science, as well as an art, and that nursing research and practice save lives,” said Sally Brosz Hardin, dean of USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science who spoke to some 200 guests on the lawn adjacent to the nursing school where the new facility will be constructed.

The 30,000-square-foot, three-story building will be connected to the current school by a bridge and a plaza. The architect for the building is Ed Holakiewicz of gkkworks in San Diego. DPR Construction is the builder for the institute that will be completed in the fall of 2015.

“Our new building is truly designed to prepare the next generation of nurse scientists, educators, executives and advanced practitioners,” Hardin said. It will include the new and expanded Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Simulation and Standardized Patient Nursing Center, the keystone of the school’s clinical teaching facilities and a national model for nursing education. The center was given by the San Diego-based Dickinson Foundation, which has been a committed supporter of the school for more than a decade.

The Beyster Institute also includes the Krause Family PhD Research Library/Study given by Gale and James Krause. James Krause was a prominent San Diego attorney and member of the USD Board of Trustees who passed away in 2012.

The library will permit PhD Nursing students to enjoy direct access to online research databases for current and historic, domestic, foreign, and international nursing materials.

The third-floor Research Center houses three research units that focus on critical health care issues of perinatal women’s health; healthy aging, cognition, and end-of-life care; and military and veterans’ physical and mental health.

There also will be an innovative Elder Adult Laboratory Apartment to assess and conduct research on the elderly’s functional status and activities of daily living, along with high-tech and executive classrooms.

Designed to meet Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards for sustainability, the Beyster Institute also features state-of-the-art technology, exposure to light and fresh air, and a healing garden.

A lead gift of $8 million from Dr. and Mrs. J. Robert Beyster helped make the institute, which focuses on clinical nursing research, possible. Robert Beyster is the founder of SAIC, an internationally respected research and engineering firm with offices around the globe. Other donors include nurse alumni, students, faculty, and staff, and friends of nursing. During the ceremony, Anthony Rodelo, president of the university’s Graduate Nursing Student Association presented the Dean with a check for $1,500 from the nursing students.

“We are so grateful to our donors who share our vision for an institute that will allow us to significantly influence nursing policy and practice at the regional, national and global levels,” Hardin said. Many naming and funding opportunities for the Institute’s Research Units and Advanced Practice Training Center still exist.

USD’s current nursing school was built in 1978 and intended to serve just 100 students. Today the school has more than 450 graduate students and provides nearly half of the nursing faculty to other nursing schools in San Diego County and southern California.

— Liz Harman

Photo: USD President Mary E. Lyons, Betty Beyster and Dean Sally Brosz Hardin

Credit: Nick Abadilla

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