Grant Stories & News

KWU renovates building to house nursing education

SALINA – A foundation grant was part of the funding mix for a $4.5 million project to renovate a building near the Kansas Wesleyan University campus into a state-of-the-art facility for nursing education.

The 13,390-square-foot KWU Nursing Education Center at 135 E. Claflin Ave. now houses the Division of Nursing Education and Health Sciences, which had been located in a 5,000-square-foot space in Peters Science Hall on campus. The increased space will allow for the addition of more students.

Included in the facility are simulation rooms designed to mimic a wide range of experiences: acute care scenarios, medical-surgical, maternity, pediatrics, behavioral health, and critical care. The building features two large classrooms, a large classroom/testing center, two observation/briefing rooms, a mock medication room, 11 faculty/staff offices, a conference room, a student lounge/break area and the Dane G. Hansen Performance Lab.

The 900-square-foot performance lab has four hospital beds in a normal hospital setting, including privacy curtains and a separate medicine room. It is piped with an air supply and central vacuum to allow for a realistic experience in a training environment. The performance lab is one of the most utilized spaces in the Nursing Education Center and accommodates skills practice and competency testing.

Since September 2018, 117 pre-nursing students have applied for admission to KWU. It is the second largest major. This year, 70 percent of the university’s prospective nursing students are from Kansas. All 2021 graduates have accepted nursing positions in Kansas, with the majority working at the Salina Regional Health Center.

The new facility is part of overall efforts to address nursing shortages in the state. The Kansas Health Resources and Services Administration reported that in 2020, Kansas was anticipating a shortage of 1,950 nurses per 100,000 population; with the problem being particularly acute in rural areas.