Stockton University expanded not only its physical footprint at its Manahawkin campus over the winter break, but also added more health science opportunities for students.

The college absorbed an adjacent building, the former site of Rothman Institute Orthopaedics, at its 712 East Bay Ave. location to give nursing students more room for hands-on learning experiences and a place to offer additional general education courses near students living in Ocean County.

Edward Walton, Stockton interim associate dean of health sciences, said the new site helps expand the 15-month accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and the Registered Nurse-to-BSN program, which are conducted both online and in Manahawkin.

University officials said the additional 7,915-square-foot space is fitted with seven physical assessment examination rooms and has room for nursing students to take part in a six-bed Foundations of Nursing lab.

The accelerated BSN students will spend one full day a week in class at the Manahawkin site in addition to classes and clinical assignments elsewhere, including at Stockton’s main campus in Galloway Township.

The new site includes a lobby, or lounge area, with seating for students to eat lunch. There is also a faculty lounge and a small student-hospitality area with snacks and coffee.

“They are here all day, and we want them to feel welcomed and comfortable,” Michele Collins-Davies, site manager, said in a statement.

The accelerated BSN program is for students with a bachelor’s degree who want to become registered nurses. Twenty-four students make up the current class, and a new class will start in the fall.

Stockton’s physical expansion will also lead to an increased number of general education and core health science classes offered at the Manahawkin location. Officials said they hope to increase the number from 19 to 31 by the fall.

The university is currently working on expanding its campus in Atlantic City in a $178.3 million project being built on former empty lots at the end of Albany Avenue. The campus will include parking spaces, housing, an academic building and more. It is scheduled to be open for the fall 2018 semester.

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