University of San Diego to Open $18 Million Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research

Construction is complete on an $18 million institute that represents the future of nursing at the University of San Diego.

A ribbon-cutting for the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science’s new Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice, and Simulation will take place Tuesday, Sept. 1 at noon. 

“We are so grateful to the Beysters and excited to present this institute that will be a tremendous resource to meet our health care challenges in the 21st century,” said Sally Brosz Hardin, Dean of the University of San Diego’s nursing school. “The Beyster Institute will play a key role in the preparation of nurse scientists, educators, executives and military officers for San Diego and southern California, as well as the nation.”

A lead gift of $8 million from Betty Beyster and the late Dr. Robert Beyster, founder of the giant research and engineering firm SAIC, who passed away late last year, laid the foundation for the 30,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the existing nursing school.

The institute’s first floor will hold the new and expanded Lizbeth Dickinson Smoyer Nursing Simulation Center, the keystone of the school’s clinical teaching facilities and a national model for nursing education. Its features include computerized mannequins and trained patient “actors,” to educate nurses, along with a state-of-the-art video data management system for faculty to evaluate students’ judgment and clinical skills.

The second floor includes the Lizbeth and Walter Smoyer Family Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Education Center focusing on the management of preventive care and leadership of interdisciplinary teams. More than 1,000 APRNs, including 100 with the doctor of Nursing Practice Degree, have graduated from USD since 1984.

The institute’s third story focuses on Nursing Research and houses four research units in veterans’ care, maternal and child care, palliative care and aging. Its research centers include the Hervey Family San Diego Foundation Military and Veteran Health Unit, the Women and Children’s Health Unit, the Kaye M. Woltman and Melisa R. McGuire Hospice and Palliative Care Education and Research Unit, and the Senior Adult Research Unit and Functional Assessment Apartment. The third floor also includes the PhD Executive Classroom and the Krause Family PhD Research Library and Study.

Designed and constructed in the university’s signature Spanish Renaissance style, “The Beyster Institute’s beauty reflects the caliber of our nursing school,” Hardin said. The school, ranked in the top 30 nationally for graduate nursing by U.S. News & World Report, provides nearly one-half of the nursing faculty to other nursing schools in San Diego County and southern California.

Ed Holakiewicz of gkkworks was the principal architect and DPR Construction was the builder for the institute that meets LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold standards for sustainability and also is designed to be flexible and adaptable to future health and education trends.
For more information about the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science go to




About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Denise Ward
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