FSC Dedicates High-Tech Nursing Building
Lynn Arcadipane 10 presents a bouquet of roses to Ann Edwards at the dedication of the Blanton Nursing Building.
LAKELAND (Nov. 13, 2009) — Florida Southern College Trustees, faculty, staff, and students joined the proud family of Alberta and Joe Blanton today to dedicate a state-of-the-art nursing building named for the Lakeland couple.
The Joe K. & Alberta Blanton Nursing Building on Johnson Avenue is home to the Colleges burgeoning School of Nursing, which currently enrolls about 300 students. The late Alberta Blanton, a longtime Lakeland resident and philanthropist, gave the lead gift of $2.5 million for the building.
"As our region, and indeed our nation, continues to address the severe shortage of nursing professionals that threatens to limit access to quality health care for thousands of Americans, we remain grateful to Mrs. Alberta Blanton for her transformational gift to our College to create this state-of-the-art nursing building so that generations of students can prepare for meaningful careers as nurses and nursing teachers," said Dr. Anne Kerr, president of FSC.
The Blantons' daughter, Ann Edwards, is a Trustee of the College and a retired nurse - one of six nurses in her family. She was delighted to share the joyful occasion with a number of family members, including two others who are nurses. "I am so grateful that Mother shared my belief in the importance of nursing education," she said. "Mother was so proud to partner with Florida Southern College and its growing nursing program to create this important nursing building."
The 8,600-square-foot building, designed by Michael Murphey of Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects, Inc., of Lakeland, includes a teaching and treatment simulation laboratory, high-tech classrooms, faculty offices, and student and faculty lounges.
The skills laboratory offers students real-life experiences through virtual patient simulators, which can be programmed to simulate everything from an infection to a heart attack, and they "react" to the student nurses' actions. Using the simulators, students can practice administering medications, intubation, and much more.
Florida Southern offers Polk County's first four-year baccalaureate nursing degree as well as distinguished RN-to-BSN and master's degree programs.
Lynn Arcadipane, a senior in the BSN program who is serving as president of the Florida Student Nursing Association, said she and her fellow students were grateful for the facility and the opportunities it offers. "I am so pleased that I am spending my final year of education in this wonderful and beautiful new building, which provides us all an amazing learning environment," she said. "We are blessed to learn and study in this incredible building."