Vital Signs

Nursing part of new health sciences education building in Kearney

The College of Nursing plans to expand its programs at the University of Nebraska Kearney campus. As part of a proposed new health science education building, nursing students will be able to work with UNMC’s allied health professionals in a team-like approach to rural primary care.

“The opportunity to expand our programs in the Kearney Division will help us educate more students in rural areas and focus especially on primary care and health needs in rural areas,” said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing.

The existing space, though well suited when the College of Nursing opened in 1991, is inadequate for today’s curriculum and interactive, team-based learning, Dr. Sebastian said.

As part of part of University of Nebraska’s “Building a Healthier Nebraska” initiative, $15 million in state funds have been provided to build a 48,500 square-foot building on the corner of Highway 30 and University Drive on the West Campus at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The building would increase teaching and research space, as well as educate more nurses for Nebraska. Ground breaking will be this spring, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2015.

The new facility also would provide opportunities to expand nursing’s enrollment, as well as cutting-edge approaches to interprofessional learning experiences for students preparing for careers in rural primary care, new models for acute and critical care and community-based care.

A new building would make it possible for the College of Nursing -- over a three-year period -- to expand total enrollment by 40 students. The expansion would include a mix of bachelor of science in nursing and graduate students in the nurse practitioner options.