Nursing Education is on the Rise with Innovative New Facilities

Nursing Education is on the Rise with Innovative New Facilities

We need thousands of nurses, and we need them soon. According to the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), “Indiana has nearly 4,300 job openings for nurses each year, and we are projected to need an additional 5,000 nurses by 2031 to meet the growing demands of an aging population.”

To meet this tremendous goal, many academic institutions across the state are upgrading or expanding their facilities to offer advanced nursing programs. We’ve compiled a rundown of recent highlights to give you a sense of just how quickly things have been growing.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s Major Upgrade, $60M

Rendering of the future Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Nursing and Health Sciences building. (Image from Ivy Tech.)

The Ivy Tech Community College State Board of Trustees voted to issue up to $60 million in bonds to finance major improvements to the college’s Fort Wayne campus. The goal is to provide state-of-the-art facilities to train the region’s current and future workforce in a variety of professions, notably in nursing and health sciences.

The project includes the construction of a new, 50,000 square-foot nursing and health sciences facility, which will help respond to the region’s workforce needs by providing a hospital-like environment for students pursuing careers in healthcare.

The facility will allow Ivy Tech Fort Wayne to increase enrollment in the Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing by at least 7% and increase completions of high-quality healthcare certificates, credentials, and degrees by 20% after renovations are complete.

The project will also include the renovation and modernization of the Coliseum Campus in Fort Wayne, with a focus on increasing instructional lab space, reducing overall square footage, and providing operational savings of over $600k.

The college hopes to break ground on the renovations in 2025.

Cameron Education and Innovation Center, $12-13M

Rendering of the Cameron Education and Innovation Center. (Image from MKM Architecture.)

Partners from Cameron Memorial Community Hospital, Trine University, the city of Angola, and others have broken ground on a new, state-of-the-art 32,000-square-foot facility on Cameron’s campus. The Cameron Education and Innovation Center will serve as a key component of Trine’s new Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program. The ASN program will combine the full experience of on-campus learning with an accelerated acclimation to the healthcare environment.

The three-story facility, located on the southwest side of Cameron’s campus, will include multiple classrooms, four simulation rooms, two control rooms for the simulation rooms, one debrief room, a ten-bed skills lab, and offices for Trine faculty, Cameron educators and staff. Additional shell space will also be included to support future growth needs.

Trine’s new Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program will graduate nurses who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide safe, compassionate, patient-centric holistic care to diverse populations.

VU’s Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning, $33.9M

Rendering of the VU Center for Health Sciences. (Image from VU.)

Vincennes University announced the addition of 70,000 square feet of new learning space on the Vincennes campus with the construction of a $33.9 million ultra-modern Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning. It will be established on the former site of Harrison Hall, with a projected opening date of Fall 2025. Officials have said this project could amount to the largest single building project in the history of Vincennes University.

The new Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning will feature state-of-the-art clinical simulation labs equipped with high-fidelity manikins, virtual reality simulators, and video recording systems. It will include active learning spaces that will promote collaborative, team-based, flexible learning classrooms, which will be utilized by all colleges on campus, integrating dynamic and engaging learning.

The cutting-edge facility nearly doubles the space that is currently available to VU students in the existing College of Health Sciences and Human Performance center, which produces career-ready graduates in medical fields like nursing, funeral services, health care administration, pharmacy, and much more.

USI Health Professions Center, Multiple Phases, $18.5M and $49M

Rendering of the USI clinical simulation center. (Image from Hafer.)

An $18.5 million renovation of the University of Southern Indiana’s (USI) Health Professions Center, which houses the University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, began last year. Plans included the addition of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to enhance student learning, which officials said would position many programs for future growth.

This initial $18.5 million phase includes the lower level and part of the first floor. One of the major changes on the first floor includes transforming Mitchell Auditorium, a multi-tiered lecture hall, into a state-of-the-art radiology suite, equipped with several new imaging machines and a large classroom. A new 250-capacity auditorium will be built during the project’s final phase. There will also be a new clinical simulation center, an anatomy lab, a food science lab, and more.

This renovation is only a portion of a multi-phase project that began several years ago. A final phase of the project, expected to begin in 2024, will utilize an additional $49 million provided by the Indiana General Assembly and includes renovation of the second-floor office areas and the remainder of the first floor.

Much More to Come

These are by no means the only nursing education facilities and expansions currently underway. There are many others throughout the state happening right now too. It’s truly an all-hands-on-deck approach to develop a major pipeline of nursing graduates to meet those incredibly high projections for Indiana’s future nursing needs.

Keep an eye on for future updates about projects like these and many others.

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