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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Nursing faculty and students adjust to St Luke’s Campus closure

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A back entrance to St. Luke’s Campus.
Kayden Lamphere
A back entrance to St. Luke’s Campus.

After serving the Utica community since 1957, St. Luke’s Hospital, part of the Mohawk Valley Health System, closed its doors on Oct. 29 after the new Wynn Hospital opened in downtown Utica.  

James Monahan, a professor of practice in the nursing department at Utica University, said the impact of losing a medical facility so close to campus has affected some students on campus.

“I think the convenience of St. Luke’s across the street was great for the students,” Monahan said. “Especially those on campus. Those nursing students could get up and just go across the street, whereas right now, a lot of them have to take a bus from St. Luke’s to [Wynn Hospital].”

Doreen Rogers, the chair of the nursing department, said the change has forced students to adjust their preparation times because employees and students at the Wynn are required to be shuttled from the St. Luke’s campus to the new hospital. 

“This will require an additional time commitment from the students and clinical instructors to arrive earlier and leave later given the shuttle time,” Rogers said.

Taylor Kraft, a junior nursing major, expressed concern about transportation because the parking garage at the Wynn Hospital is still under construction.

“The parking garage for staff and students at the Wynn is not set to open until the spring of 2024,” Kraft said. “So, I am a little worried about the snow and if that will add even more time to my commute to the Wynn Hospital.”

According to Rogers, proximity and travel times may not be the only thing changed by the switch.

“The transition from the St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth’s campuses to the Wynn could potentially limit the number of students we can place in clinical and during transition experiences for the Traditional and ABSN programs,” she said.

Despite those challenges, staff are excited about shifting their practice to a newer, state-of-the-art facility, Monahan said

“It’s exciting for the students, both juniors and seniors, to move to a brand new hospital,” Monahan said. “It’s the first time a brand new hospital has opened in 25 years, so it’s something that is new and exciting for us.”

Sophomore nursing major Kalista Betz said she is enjoying the fresh environment at  Wynn Hospital so far.

I think that the Wynn is a great upgraded building that both our patients and we needed,” Betz said. “A lot of my older coworkers expressed to me that they weren’t excited because they would have to learn all the new things and learn their way around the hospital, while the younger and newer nurses expressed excitement for such a huge change!”

Kraft’s experience has been similar at Wynn, appreciating the upgrade in technology provided by the change. Two days after the new hospital opened, she started clinicals there once a week.  

“There are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out in the hospital, but there is a lot of technology to help students succeed,” Kraft said. 

According to Monahan, experiences so far have been positive overall, as students have been given the chance to work with brand-new equipment. 

“St. Luke’s was getting close to one hundred years old,” Monahan said. “With Wynn, it’s new technology, new beds, a new hospital. It’s going to give them some great clinical experience as the hospital gets up and running fully.”

Though the transition will take time for students and staff in the nursing program to get used to, Rogers said, the relationship between MVHS, Wynn Hospital and Utica University is something that will not change.

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Kayden Lamphere
Kayden Lamphere, Special Assignment Reporter

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