New Address, Bright Setting for OSF Nursing Students
Nursing College Opens on Campus of Rock Valley Community College in Time for Fall Semester
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 17, 2017

ROCKFORD—St. Anthony College of Nursing (SACN) has a new main campus and address: 3301 N. Mulford Road.

Located in the northeastern part of Rock Valley College, SACN occupies part of the third and all of the fourth floors of RVC’s brand new health sciences building.

The third floor has office space for faculty and administration while the fourth floor has a variety of classrooms, meeting spaces, a library, study areas and two “pods” of faculty offices. SACN has a 20-year lease for the space.

Learning center honors
long-time college administrator

Sister Mary Linus Nowak was the administrator of Saint Anthony College of Nursing from 1958 to 1992.  She oversaw its transition from a three-year diploma nursing school to a full college granting a bachelor of science in nursing degree.  It now also offers a graduate degree.
The Learning Resource Center  was named in her honor to recognize her enormous contributions and achievements on behalf of the college.  
A hall (top right) near the center (bottom right) in the new facilities at Rock Valley College includes pictures of Sister Mary Linus and of the college at the time she led it.
Sister Mary Linus was born in Dortmund, Germany, on Feb. 2, 1914.  She entered the convent in Germany in 1938 and immigated to the U.S. the same year.
She graduated from nursing school in 1943 and went on to earn several advanced degrees.
She died at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Sept. 13, 1995.

The college also will continue to use its site in the lower level of the OSF Guilford Square medical building on Featherstone Road.

There simulation labs will continue to help students learn about, for example, how to make house calls as a community nurse.

The former site of SACN on the campus of OSF St. Anthony Medical Center on State Street is presently slated for use as office space for the medical center.

Bishop David Malloy, Father Pierre Polycarp, head of the OSF Medical Center chaplain office, Father Kenneth Wasilewski, diocesan ethicist and adjunct faculty member at SACN, several other faculty members and a handful of students gathered on Tuesday, Aug. 8 to bless and tour the fourth floor.

“All disciplines,” read the bishop from the Book of Blessings, “sciences, and teaching about the world and about human life that we pursue must have as their final purpose to bring us to a knowledge of the truth and to the worship of the true God ...

“We also ask the Lord that the students will find in their teachers the image of Christ, so that, enriched with both human and divine learning, they will in turn be able and ready to enlighten and assist others ... .

“We dedicate this building to the education of youth,” he continued, “to the progress of the sciences, and to learning. Make it become a center where students and teachers, imbued with the words of truth, will search for the wisdom that guides the Christian life ... .”

In his remarks, Bishop Malloy said the blessing was important because “we truly believe the nursing profession is a continuation of Christ’s ministry to the sick” and that a nurse’s care for the sick should also include care of the soul.

As he toured the building with SACN President Sandie Soldwisch, Ph.D., APN, ANP-BC, the bishop commented on the bright, attractive spaces, many of which are lined with windows.

Dr. Soldwisch told him that everything will be ready for classes to begin on Aug. 14.

A second guide, Shannon Lizer, Ph.D., APN-BC-FAAMP, who is dean of Graduate Affairs at the college, showed off the study and evaluation rooms for graduate students.

She explained that their education will include sessions with trained community member actors as “patients” while teachers watch from another room.

Students will at times evaluate their own performance, Dr. Lizer said, and after they have been “hard on themselves,” teachers “can tell them what they are doing right.”

Regional director of ethics administration, Erica Laethem, BeL, Ph.D., said she has heard from students that they feel supported by the faculty.

“If we can live the mission for students,” Dr. Lizer said, “they will live the mission with patients.”

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to grant both baccalaureate and master’s degrees. The BSN and MSN degree programs at SACN are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The 2017-18 student body numbers 303 and includes 73  new students.