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Growing the Nursing Workforce

Analysis  |  By Carol Davis  
   July 05, 2023

Schools of Nursing are ramping up their efforts to accommodate nursing students.

Healthcare educators are taking decisive steps in growing and strengthening the U.S. nursing workforce, with efforts ranging from simplifying the transfer of credits between higher education institutions to creating alliances with hospitals or health systems to building more nursing schools.

Just within the last two weeks, new nursing schools have opened their doors, greatly expanded, or have broken ground for construction. Here are three of the newest:

Galen College of Nursing

With a new campus in Roanoke, Virginia, Galen College of Nursing, one of the nation’s largest private nursing schools, has expanded to 19 campuses nationwide, plus an online program. It’s the second campus in Virginia—the first being in Richmond.

The Roanoke campus will feature the latest resources—from advanced patient simulation labs to classroom environments designed to encourage practice-based learning—to provide nursing students with a hands-on learning experience.

It initially will offer a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing program and a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse to Associate Degree in Nursing Bridge.

“This new endeavor will help us continue to attract the next generation of nurses and help support the delivery of quality care in the state,” said Mark Vogt, Galen’s CEO. “With over 30 years of experience exclusively educating nurses, Galen is well-positioned to help expand the pipeline of practice-ready nurses in the Roanoke area.”


Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing

An $18 million, 16,000-square-foot simulation center broke ground at Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing, providing the ability to increase enrollment by 400 students.

“As we break ground today for the Nursing Simulation Center, we are moving closer to meeting the ongoing need for highly qualified nurses in this state and across the nation,” Aondover Tarhule, the university’s interim president, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The new building will wrap around the college’s existing simulation center and will feature an enhanced clinical education setting with virtual reality technology.

Scheduled to open in fall 2024, the new simulation center, nearly a decade in the making, will include space for interdisciplinary collaboration, additional student support, and increased research capabilities.

“It allows us to educate more exceptionally well-prepared nurses,” said Judy Neubrander, EdD, FNP-BC, nursing college dean, “who will be a part of improving the health and well-being of our community and state.”

UMMC School of Nursing

Construction just started on a new state-of-the-art, 106,000-square-foot School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson that will allow a 25% increase in enrollment.

The new school will consist of about 78,000 square feet of new construction, along with the 28,000-square-foot University Rehabilitation Center, which will be renovated to house simulation and skills laboratories. New construction will feature a 200-seat auditorium, classrooms, group study rooms, offices, meeting rooms, research laboratories, a courtyard, and small amphitheater.


Cost of the new School of Nursing is covered by $55 million in COVID-19 state and local recovery funds, along with $12 million from the medical center.

Mississippi’s nursing shortage makes this project particularly vital, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

 “We need nurses,” he said, “and what better to have them educated than at the University of Mississippi Medical Center?”

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Galen College of Nursing now has expanded to 19 campuses nationwide, plus an online program.

Mennonite College of Nursing will feature an enhanced clinical education setting with virtual reality technology.

UMMC School of Nursing’s new construction will allow a 25% increase in enrollment.

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