By Felix Sanchez, Staff Writer
Because of early completion of the new Business Building, UTA's School of Nursing is moving on campus earlier than scheduled.
The school, previously located in John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, will be situated on the fifth floor of the $6 million structure.
Earlier this year, Eugene Deutscher, executive director of the Tarrant County Hospital District, requested the nursing school leave hospital facilities so permanent quarters for the hospital's Family Program could be established.
Dec. 31 had been the projected date the nursing school would arrive on campus. The date has been moved to Sept. 1.
Myrna Pickard, nursing school dean, says the fifth floor will provide mostly office and some classroom space for its new tenants.
She pointed out, though, that a majority of the classes will be spread among the other campus buildings.
"Lack of class space is creating schedule conflicts. The nursing schedule calls for two days of clinical practice and one full day of classes," she said.
Dr. W.A. Baker, vice president for academic affairs, agreed there were some problems in class scheduling because of the general nurse curriculum offering large blocks of class and clinical time.
"Yes, there were some problems because we generally offer Monday - Wednesday - Friday and Tuesday - Thursday classes. In fact, I am sure there will be some more problems but I don't believe there will be any serious problems," Baker said.
Baker noted two factors that eased problems which might have arisen.
"One, we had a large block of offices available in the Business Building available so we were able to give one complete floor to nursing," he said.
"The other thing is that they (nursing) do run afternoon classes, when a majority of classrooms are empty."
Dudley Wetsel, vice president for business affairs, said the College of Business volunteered use of the fifth floor of the new building to nursing.
He said it will probaly be December before a cost estimate can be presented to the UT Board of Regents for a site for a new nursing school building on campus.
The old Business Building will be remodeled for the psychology department.
Wetsel added there are areas of the new building still to be finished, such as adding final furniture and carpeting.
"I think it is a great idea," he said of nursing's move to campus.
Pickard, too, said she was pleased. "Sure I think being on campus will be an advantage.
She added that clinical use of John Peter Smith will continue, as well, with more than 50 agencies in the metroplex.
She said the second floor of the Health Center will be used for simulation lab practice.
A media center will also be located in the Library basement.
There are 350 nursing students and 39 faculty.