Updated October 6 at 10:06am

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this week’s poll

Is URI President Dooley’s plan for a joint nursing/research facility a good idea?


University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley has been a proponent of the construction of a URI-Rhode Island College joint teaching and research facility in Providence as a way to satisfy the growing need to train more nurses in the Ocean State as well as a way to spur economic activity in the city’s Knowledge District.

While the nursing facility introduced last year in Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee’s budget as a bond issue was designed to be put on this month’s ballot, the measure did not make it to the floor of the General Assembly, and Dooley was not necessarily disappointed in that.

He has been a proponent of having the state commit to a long-term lease in the proposed facility (as opposed to committing to a bond), which would allow a private developer to build a larger project that could include space for biotech companies to do research and/or manufacturing.

In the end, the state would be able to educate more nurses at a cutting-edge facility, while also having a greater inventory of laboratory space within the city district that also includes Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, as well as Rhode Island and Women and Infants Hospitals. And he contends that the state would save from $15 million to $20 million a year compared with what it would cost to expand nursing education facilities on both the RIC and URI campuses.

Do you agree with him that this facility is needed?


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It is common knowledge that there are not enough primary care physicians to meet the need or demand that will be created by Obamacare. It has become clear that nurses can - and very likely will - make up the gap.

Trained as physician's assistants, they are doing so even now, and have done so for many years. This trend will accelerate. Thus, it would appear that a plan to train more nurses would meet a well-defined demand.

Monday, December 3, 2012 | Report this

To dispel Anita's confusion: Advanced practice nurses - registered nurses with advanced degrees (MSN) are NOT "trained". They are graduates of baccalaureate and Master's of Nursing programs and qualify through examinations to be certified in such areas as medical/surgical care, adult care, family care, pediatrics, gerontology, psych/mental health, or midwifery. Furthermore they cannot be compared with physician's assistants who do exactly that - assist physicians. The P.A. is trained to work directly with or under the direction of the physician provider whereas the APN -Advanced Practice Nurse's (APN) philosophical approach to patient care addresses not only the medical condition but the patient's social, cultural, psychological and spiritual response to his/her situation. The professional APN preparation includes at least five years of rigorous study in institutions of higher education - perhaps at Rhode Island College, or Yale University, or Boston College, to name three locations.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Report this

@SuzyScott - Thanks for chiming in and clarifying. Really helpful. (I do think that "training" includes education, BTW, but maybe that's just me.)

So given your obvious knowledge and elucidation on this issue, it DOES appear that Advanced Practice Nurses (APN's) WILL assume much of the medical care that (the lack of) primary care physicians will not be able to meet. Thus, my main point - that this is a well-reasoned project (unlike say...video game development) - is one that you agree with.

Thanks again for clarifying. Together we readers have more info than a single journalist could ever provide in a short article. We just need to share it - this is the great advantage of online media.

PBN Readers: Participate! Put in your 2 cents or 2 dollars! Sharing information benefits us all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 | Report this
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