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Opening of School of Practical Nursing in Philadelphia

  • Published: 2010-04-30 : NewCourtland.
  • Synopsis: Opening of NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing for low-income seniors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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NewCourtland Makes Practical State-of-the-Art With the Opening of Its School of Practical Nursing in Philadelphia - Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller and other leaders attend to highlight economic impact of employment opportunities in long-term care and dedicate state-of-the-art Simulation Lab.

NewCourtland, a leading non-profit provider of community services, affordable housing, nursing homes, education and workforce development in support of the needs of low-income seniors in Philadelphia, is filling a critical need in the community with the opening of the NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing. The school, housed in the NewCourtland Education Center, 6950 Germantown Avenue, was dedicated at a ceremony today.

"The national nursing shortage is reaching a critical state," said Gail Kass, NewCourtland's President and CEO. "Compounding the problem is the decreasing number of educators available to train qualified nurses and the gap between supply and demand is only expected to widen as our aging population continues to grow. Knowing this, we acted to help ensure that a stable, educated workforce would be available to meet the needs of a growing number of seniors deserving of high-quality care."

Ms. Kass was joined at today's celebration by Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller of the 8th District in the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Deputy Commerce Director Kevin Dow and NewCourtland Board of Directors Chair, Elizabeth (Betsy) Gemmill.

Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller added, "The NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing addresses a critical need in the nursing profession and will have the ability to provide a skilled workforce and employment opportunities. This school demonstrates NewCourtland's commitment to professional development."

NewCourtland has steadily expanded its efforts in the realm of education and workforce development to specifically meet the demands of the long-term care industry. In fact, the Department of Labor has identified not only the healthcare sector as a high-growth industry, but specifically identifies the long-term care as a significant high-growth industry that represents 4.5 million workers nationally and is expected to expand by 800,000 jobs in 2010 as the nation's 60 and older population doubles as Baby Boomers age.

As a result, NewCourtland which currently employs approximately 2,200 people in its Network, can continue to grow Philadelphia's healthcare workforce while providing much-needed jobs to grow the local economy as according to 2008 statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average salary of LPNs is $40,110.

"By providing job training in healthcare - a market that is expanding even in the midst of the current recession - NewCourtland is not only reversing the nursing shortage, but stimulating the local economy," added City of Philadelphia Deputy Commerce Director Kevin Dow.

A highlight of the event was a demonstration of the school's state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, named in Ms. Gemmill's honor. Simulation labs are designed to simulate clinical settings, providing students with the opportunity to enhance their skills through the use of clinical case scenarios, faculty guidance and resources that facilitate clinical critical thinking and decision-making.

"NewCourtland has always been a leader in creating innovative services for seniors. By establishing a school for LPN's, we are making a giant leap to assure that professional care will be available for the seniors we serve," said Kathie Brogan MSN, MS HEd., RN, NewCourtland's CNO and Director of Education.

"Tools like the SIM lab assure that our students will have the most up-to-date training as they enter the challenging field of nursing. I am proud to be the director of such an outstanding program."

Eliza Whittington, a lifelong Philadelphian and employee of Germantown Home commented, "I'm proud to be one of 24 students enjoying the privilege of being a member of the inaugural class. This opportunity is a dream come true for me as I've always wanted to become a nurse."

About NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing - The mission of the NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing is to educate, empower, challenge and support its students as they expand their knowledge in the field of practical nursing, prepare for licensure, employment and service to the community.

About NewCourtland - With more than a century of service to Philadelphia's most vulnerable citizens, NewCourtland serves as a leading non-profit provider of community services, affordable senior housing, nursing homes, education and workforce development that meet the needs of low-income seniors in Philadelphia by combining a highly trained, compassionate and friendly staff with easy-to-use assistive technology and supportive services. For more information, visit or call 215-965-1915.

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