E-Wing’s construction makes room for growing nursing program

Adjacent to the Adler Center for Nursing, E-Wing’s location makes it the foremost option in creating space for Ramapo’s new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. The former location of the Information Technology Services (ITS) department, a computer lab and offices will soon be renovated into new facilities for Ramapo’s growing nursing department.

Given the urgent need for nurses in New Jersey and the increased rate of Ramapo nursing applicants, ITS was relocated to the basement of the Anisfield School of Business, computer storage was recycled and cubicles were cleared to make way for classrooms. 

This year, Ramapo College’s direct-admit Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program received over 900 applications, marking a growth of over 30% from 2023.

Many nursing students embrace the renovations, believing their facilities are overdue for improvement. According to the New Jersey Hospital Association, the state foresees an over 11,000 nurse shortage by 2030. Ramapo’s venture to improve and expand nursing facilities on campus comes in response. 

In the college’s strategic plan for 2023-2029, titled “Body Ascending,” Ramapo indicated efforts to modernize academic wings, like E-Wing, to best avail the potential of the building. 

“New Jersey needs more nurses, and we do not have enough slots in our program to accept all of the qualified applicants,” stated Dr. Michael Yankovich, vice president for operational and administrative integration, in an email. “Our goal is to expand the capacity of the Nursing Program at Ramapo to enable us to accept more students.” 

E-Wing’s renovations include two large classrooms, a new lab and five offices for new faculty. These redevelopments prove essential with the 16-month program underway. 

“There’s never been an accelerated nursing program,” said senior nursing student Lisa Vasquez. “We’re going to see a new demographic of nursing students who will be older than the usual 18-22 year old students.” 

The ABSN program is designed for individuals seeking a career change into nursing, healthcare professionals aiming to become registered nurses (RNs) with a BSN and community college graduates holding non-nursing associate degrees who aspire to obtain a BSN.

“These program expansions created crowding in the Adler Center, necessitating the renovation of E-wing to provide proper facilities to serve our first-rate nursing programs,” stated Dr. Michael Middleton, provost and vice president for teaching, learning and growth, over email.

Vasquez hopes new nursing students will have greater opportunities for tactile learning.

“I think the labs themselves should be focused more on skills we will be using as nurses, such as starting IVs, which we’ve never practiced,” she said.

The nursing department falls under the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, which has the highest number of enrolled undergraduates out of the five schools that comprise Ramapo, 43.3% being first generation. 

“These renovations will 100% benefit our education as nursing majors, having more resources helps positively prepare for real life scenarios,” junior nursing student Sam Namendorf said.

Though, some non-nursing students resent the renovations because of the computer lab closure. The E-Wing computer lab was one of two 24/7 labs accessible to students.

“It’s going to be a hassle now to figure out where to print things from now on since I have multiple classes that prefer paper copies over digital,” said freshman Raven Harelick. 

“The removal of the E-Wing computer lab inconveniences students because you are taking away a spot where many students print and study,” sophomore Gianna Mignano told The Ramapo News.

Ramapo students can expect more changes to campus as E-Wing is the first renewal in an overall comprehensive facilities plan. Linden Hall’s $31.7 million renovation is in motion. The Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund (CIF) Grant, awarded by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, is funding the modernization of the vacant dormitory.

“The Linden Renovation project will allow us to create some additional classroom and collaboration spaces, and it will also allow us to relocate some back-of-the-house administrative functions while moving some student-service functions to more centrally located and convenient locations,” Yankovich said.




Featured photo by Jenna Barnes