Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

New Philly nursing school shutting down

NewCourtland's second graduating class will be its last.

New Philly nursing school shutting down

A screengrab from NewCourtland´s web site.
A screengrab from NewCourtland's web site.

UPDATE with comments: NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing, which opened in 2010, will close after it graduates its final class in July, the nonprofit operator says.

"While we remain committed to our current roster of students, providing them with the state-of-the-art education and support they need to graduate, pass their licensing exam and achieve success in their careers as LPNs, the NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing will officially be closing," the school tells visitors to its Web site. "The last PN School Commencement Ceremony will be held on Monday, July 29, 2013."

The Presbyterian-heritage nonprofit had built, staffed and fitted out the school partly to recruit LPNs for its former network of seven Philadelphia-area nursing homes. The facility included five robotic SIMMAN patient simulators, classrooms and public areas and a digital library.

"We were very excited about opening the school and the opportunities to open a school in the longterm care industry, where the need is," spokeswoman Angela Brown told me. Yet, soon after opening, NewCourtland reduced its need for LPNs when it sold five of the homes to MidAtlantic Health Care and transferred the sixth, in West Philadelphia, to operator Tryko Partners. NewCourtland now focuses on its two (soon to be three) community elder daycare and treatment centers and on home health services. It doesn't need so many LPNs for those facilities.

Brown says New Courtland funded the school using its own funds, "not government financing."NewCourtland has funded its senior facilities with help from Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. bonds, the taxpayer-funded Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and government tax credits.

The school was on the grounds of NewCourtland's Education Center, which will stay open, Brown added. "We still continue to operate a nursing-assistance training program there" whose graduates often go to work at the Germantown Home, the group's remaining old-style nursing home. NewCourtland has funded its senior facilities with help from Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. bonds, the taxpayer-funded Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and government tax credits.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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