Photo of ribbon cutting

From left: Mayor John Giles; Alverno College President Andrea Lee, IHM; and Synergis CEO Norm Allgood cut the ribbon on Alverno College’s new nursing education center in Mesa, Ariz.

With an audience of elected officials, health care leaders and Alverno College senior leadership and alums, Alverno College cut the ribbon on the college’s new nursing education center yesterday, March 24, 2022, in Mesa, Ariz. The 13,000-square-foot facility houses classrooms, offices and a state-of-the art simulation lab.

Mesa Mayor John Giles participated in the event and welcomed Alverno College to the community. “Alverno College is an award-winning institution with excellent programs, and I am pleased to welcome the new nursing education center to Mesa,” Giles said. “This is good for the residents of Mesa and for the health industry, leading to more qualified health professionals to fulfill workforce needs in our city and the region.”

Councilmember Francisco Heredia, representing District 3, was equally encouraged by Alverno’s decision to expand to Mesa. “The opening of Alverno College’s new nursing education center is a huge addition to west Mesa,” Heredia said. “It will help in the revitalization of the Fiesta District and meet the growing demand for nurses throughout the valley.”

The grand opening further underpins Alverno’s dedication to degree programs that educate career-ready nurses at a time when they are critically needed.

According to the American Nurses Association, “By 2022, there will be far more registered nurse jobs available than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of registered nurses to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, and the need for nurses in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area is especially strong. According to data from Maricopa County, of which Mesa is a part, there was a 40% increase in the number of nursing vacancies from April 2020 to April 2021, adding to the urgency of the situation.

With its expansion to Mesa, Alverno College plans to alleviate some of that pressure. “Alverno has always sought to meet the needs of the time, to be nimble and to ensure that those seeking educational access find open and welcoming doors,” said Alverno College President Andrea Lee, IHM, Ph.D. “We are thrilled to launch this program in a region where there is so much demand for skilled, compassionate health care providers.”

Alverno will offer its highly successful Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program at the Mesa location. Originally launched on its Milwaukee, Wis., campus in January 2020, the DEMSN will be the only program in the Mesa area to award graduates both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in nursing. The 18- to 20-month, full-time program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and will prepare them to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam.

Well-known for the caliber of its nursing school graduates, Alverno is a fully accredited, Catholic, Franciscan college. Dedicated to women’s education at the undergraduate level, Alverno offers graduate degrees to women and men, including the DEMSN. Alverno’s graduate programs are designed to deliver a personalized environment emphasizing collaboration and academic excellence. “When we consider our mission, our traditional areas of curricular strength and the escalating need in Arizona, we find this opportunity to be mission-centric and consistent with our strategic plan’s core strategies,” said Joseph Foy, Ph.D., Alverno’s vice president for Academic Affairs.

At full capacity, Alverno’s Mesa location will enroll more than 200 students annually, and the college is already forging impressive clinical relationships with Banner Health and the Mayo Clinic. As its presence in Mesa develops, the college hopes to bring attention to its other innovative degree programs.

Another recent addition to Alverno’s degree portfolio is the online Doctor of Education. This program integrates dissertation development into the curriculum, allowing students to complete their dissertations in conjunction with, rather than following, their coursework. The Ed.D. program also offers an all-but-dissertation track for students who have achieved all-but-dissertation status in a doctoral program and are seeking the support necessary to complete their terminal degree.