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Our Nurse of the Week is Sara Croley, a University of Tennessee (UT) College of Nursing alumna who recently gave a $7.5 million donation to the university, making it the largest donation in the college’s history. Croley hopes her donation will go toward ‘investing in the future of nursing,’ ultimately helping to decrease the burden of current nationwide nursing shortages. The donation was made in partnership with Croley’s husband, Ross Croley.
According to UT officials, $5.5 million of the donation will support the College of Nursing’s building renovations, and $2 million will establish the Sara Rosenbalm Croley Endowed Dean’s Chair. The $60 million renovation project will allow the college to increase enrollment. The college has had to turn away qualified applicants in the past due to a lack of space and resources.
Croley tells WBIR.com, “Having worked as a nurse for many years, I have cared for people during some of their most difficult moments. Nurses play such an important role in people’s lives. Ross and I are investing in the future of nursing in Tennessee. We hope this gift opens a door of opportunity for many more amazing nurses to enter the workforce.”
The US Bureau of Labor predicts a nationwide shortage of 1.2 million registered nurses between 2014 and 2022. According to UT, the majority of Bachelor of Science in Nursing students work in Tennessee after graduation, with an estimated 45 to 60 percent remaining in the Knoxville area specifically. Pending approval from the UT Board of Trustees, the renovated nursing building will be named the Croley Nursing Building. It’s projected to be about 100,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the current building.
To learn more about Sara Croley, a University of Tennessee College of Nursing alumna who recently gave a $7.5 million donation to the university to ‘invest in the future of nursing,’ visit here.
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