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School of Nursing celebrates 25th anniversary of Roanoke program

Joined by alumni and friends on April 24, at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Radford University and Carilion Clinic marked the 25th anniversary of their partnership to train and educate nursing professionals.

In 1987, the collaboration began in Roanoke that has produced over 1,000 nurses with Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (BSN) degrees. From its then home on the hospital grounds to its current third floor location in the Roanoke Higher Education Center, nurses trained by RU School of Nursing (SON) faculty and supported by Carilion have learned how to ensure patient safety and provide quality medical care.

In honor of the anniversary, SON Director Tony Ramsey presented a plaque acknowledging Carilion's support of the pioneering program to Dan Harrington, vice president for academic affairs, Carilion Clinic, and senior dean for academic affairs at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. A pair of bronze plaques marking the occasion will also be installed at both Carilion Clinic and the Waldron College of Health and Human Services. On hand for the event were SON Emeriti Faculty Marcella Griggs and former Dean, Karma Castleberry who were instrumental in developing the program, the first to be offered away from RU's main campus.

"The relationship between RU and Carilion has deepened over time," said Harrington. "We love getting the graduates from the RU nursing program, one that has always been solid."

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Tony Ramsey, director of the School of Nursing (left) presents a plaque to Dan Harrington

Harrington pointed out that the RU-Carilion link is more than just the nursing education partnership, but also includes working together in support of RU's doctor of physical therapy program and developing a new joint anatomy lab.

"The Roanoke area has taken on the challenge of health care for the region and without RU and Jefferson College of Health Sciences, we couldn't run the place," he said.

Sharla Cooper, associate professor of nursing, made a special presentation to Sarah Janney, student services coordinator of the Roanoke SON site, who has provided continuity and support since the transition from the Roanoke Memorial diploma program to RU.

"What she does for students is remarkable. What she does for faculty is even more so. She is a colleague, a co-worker and a friend," said Cooper.

RU SON faculty teach at both Radford and Roanoke sites and monitor nursing students who do their clinical work across the Roanoke and New River Valleys toward achieving their BSN.

Apr 30, 2014