LIU celebrates opening of new nursing program

A local college just received a major upgrade.

Long Island University of Brooklyn unveiled its new, state-of-the-art nursing school facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour. Students, alumni, faculty and supporters attended the Wednesday, May 6, event, which celebrated the facility’s new name and renovation thanks to the $10 million grant, considered the largest gift in the school’s history.

“It’s a very special moment for the history of LIU Brooklyn and the university as a whole,” said Eric Krasnoff, chair of Board of Trustees. “This gathering represents another exciting chapter in the life of the university where pride, passion and spirit are on full view.”

The new School of Nursing, now called the Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing, received the sizable grant from the Heilbrunn family. Heilbrunn graduated from LIU in 1932, and along with her husband, Robert, went on to become notable philanthropists benefiting LIU and the community at large.

“She would’ve been so pleased and proud because LIU was always an important part of her life. Both of our parents valued the teaching and nursing profession and were loyal supporters of the scholarship programs for many years,” said Harriet’s daughter Helaine Lerner.

Lerner and her sister Joan Rechnitz continue the family’s spirit of philanthropy with major investments in student scholarship support, as well as the modernization of the nursing program. “We are all excited to see the impact this great new facility and new dean will have on the surrounding community,” Lerner added.

The renovated structure includes high tech facilities that features modern laboratories and classrooms with specialized simulation and clinical equipment. During the tour of the facilities, faculty showed off operating rooms that included robotic mannequins posed as patients of various ages which nurses in training get to practice on. Teachers monitor their students’ progress and test their skills by controlling the mock patients’ responses to their work

“In the high fidelity simulation room, which replicates various clinical settings, our students engage in hands-on training in areas ranging from intensive care to pediatrics to emergency room practice,” said Dean of the LIU School of Nursing, Judith Erickson. “The state-of-the-art simulations which train students well beyond traditional techniques involve full practice in each situation and environment, and include case studies, mock scenarios, hospital grade equipment, patient interaction and direct care.”

“In a fast growing industry, nursing education is offering its students in this area unmatched opportunities to provide to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and to be a driving force behind their own careers,” added LIU President Kimberly Cline.

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