Sarah Goodwin

Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
September 22, 1999

Emory University administrators will do more today than break ground for a new building for the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

University and Health Sciences leaders will also formally welcome Marla E. Salmon, R.N., Sc.D., an internationally renowned leader in nursing recently recruited to head the school. They will acknowledge the matriculation this fall of the nursing school's first class of doctoral students. And they will unveil plans for a facility carefully designed to integrate high-tech learning and advanced research capabilities with spaces that encourage informal faculty/student interaction and invite collaboration with faculty and students from around campus.

All this is being built upon the school's rigorous undergraduate nursing curriculum, multiple clinical specialty programs and research endeavors that address the increasingly complex issues faced by patients in maintaining health and managing illnesses.

"The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing has long been a pillar of Emory's Health Sciences Center," says Michael M. E. Johns, M.D., executive vice president for health affairs, Emory University, and director of Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

"With these bold changes we are fortifying the school's strong educational programs and adding resources to further position its faculty as leaders in nursing education and research. Above all, we are opening doors to the future for our students, who will play ever more critical roles in health care in the next century."

The $22 million structure is being designed to enhance assimilation of the nursing school's multiple missions of teaching, scholarship and social responsibility. When it opens in early Spring 2001, the building will be the first to be developed under the university's ambitious master plan.

"Emory's School of Nursing was founded in 1905 as the Wesley Memorial Hospital training program in response to a growing need for well-trained nurses," says Emory University President William M. Chace. "Nearly 100 years later, we find ourselves facing a new century -- a new millennium -- with an ever-greater demand for well-educated nurses.

"A new building with the latest, high-tech teaching devices such as simulation labs and ready access to the Internet with a leader and faculty adept at merging students' interests with the needs of the marketplace these attributes will help keep Emory nursing at the forefront of teaching and research for decades to come," President Chace says.


The marble and stucco structure has been designed to reflect the traditional Hornbostel style of architecture showcased in the buildings surrounding the university quadrangle. To be located on the southwest corner of Clifton and Houston Mill roads on the Emory campus, the building will comprise approximately 100,000-square-feet of classrooms, faculty offices and dedicated research spaces. Though five stories high, only three will be visible from Clifton Road.

A special feature of the building is a distinctive student lounge designed for informal student gatherings and access to classroom, computer and simulation laboratories. Offices for research teams, including doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, will be located near faculty offices to foster dialogue and collaboration. The building's 150-seat auditorium and large, state-of-the-art classrooms will be made available for joint programs with the school of public health.


Dr. Salmon is herself a role model for nurses being trained at Emory. Her dual bachelor's degrees in nursing and political science and master of science in nursing from the University of Portland and doctorate of science with a concentration in health policy and administration from The Johns Hopkins University of Hygiene and Public Health prepared Dr. Salmon for a diverse career underscored by public service. She served in key positions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including director of the division of nursing for that federal agency. And she chaired the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice and was a member of the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform

Dr. Salmon is currently chair of the World Health Organization's Global Advocacy Group on Nursing and Midwifery. "The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is a very special place; it has a long history of leadership and excellence in nursing and an exceptionally bright future," Dr. Salmon says. "I am very pleased to be a part of this school and the broader Emory community. I can't imagine a more supportive environment or opportune time for advancing our agenda of nursing scholarship, leadership and social responsibility. Our new building is an important symbol; it both honors the long traditions here of making a difference through caring and signals the beginning of a wonderful future."


Establishment of Emory's first nursing Ph.D. program expands the list of degrees students may earn to bachelor, master and doctoral nursing degrees. Graduates of the master of science in nursing (MSN) are eligible for the respective nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist certification examinations. MSN candidates may specialize in the following areas: Adult Health Advanced Practice (includes critical care, oncology, medical/surgical and gerontological subspecialties), Pediatric Advanced Nursing Practice or Nurse Midwifery, or they may train to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Perinatal Nurse Practitioner or Psychosocial Nurse Practitioner.

The doctoral program, through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, prepares nurses to address complex ethical issues in health care, examine clinical outcomes and health policy issues. This research-intensive program will prepare nurse leaders to influence future health care delivery.

"Emory nursing students are very special people," Dr. Salmon says. "I am very proud of both the quality and commitment of our future nurses; they exemplify the Emory tradition of putting people first. One need only look at the wonderful accomplishments of our alumni to understand how special our students are ­ and how strongly committed we are to educating leaders who will advance the practice, education and science of nursing. When I look at our building plans, I know that our students are the real foundation for our school ­ and the future of caring."

Map of Emory Health Sciences Center buildings:

Architectural rendering of new nursing building:

Photo of current nursing building: