College of Nursing - Lincoln capital request
Two Urgent Issues

The Lincoln Division of the UNMC College of Nursing has had long-standing facility inadequacies resulting in large numbers of qualified applicants turned away each year.

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s nursing shortage widens just as the overall acuity of medical care increases and a growing population of elderly requires more care. Nebraska’s 2008 R.N. shortage of 9 percent is expected to grow to 20 percent by 2020, with rural areas hardest hit. A nationwide faculty shortage is a principal reason behind the U.S. nursing shortage. Not only are teachers in short supply, many are also approaching retirement age.

UNMC College of Nursing – Lincoln Division
  • Initiated in 1974
  • 32 faculty, 6 staff
  • Admitting student GPA – 3.6 - 3.7
  • Up to 60% of qualified BSN applicants turned away annually
  • Division preferred by largest percent of BSN applicants due to its collegiate environment
  • Total annual enrollment approximately 250 (currently 195 BSN, 62 MSN, 4 PhD)
  • Graduates per year: 85 BSN, 15 MSN, 2-4 PhD; majority employed in Lincoln area
  • Master’s and PhD graduates become the future faculty workforce for Lincoln area nursing colleges
  • Annual budget: $2,599,947 with 93% from state general funds and the remainder from research and faculty nursing practices
  • Annual projected enrollment with a new facility: 341 students (an increase of 23%)

Lincoln Facilities
  • The College is currently housed in leased space in downtown Lincoln.
  • The current facilities lack adequate space for classrooms and conference rooms, computer labs and faculty offices.
  • Half of the Lincoln faculty are PhD-prepared and active researchers, bringing in NIH and other grants agency dollars (and new employees) to the region. Research activities are limited by space limitations.
  • The building is on a mixed usage block occupied by bars, retail, and other businesses with pedestrian traffic not compatible with a college mission. This commercial environment draws frequent objections from parents, especially NU alumni, who want their sons and daughters to experience traditional college campus life. Student safety is a concern.

Q: What would be different in a new building?

A: A new building increases space for teaching, research, and administration; space will be configured to maximize the functional relationships between and among faculty, students, teaching space, and research space. The five existing classrooms will be replaced with six classrooms and six seminar rooms sized to accommodate varying course enrollments, resulting in better space utilization.

Expanded enrollment is the focus, allowing the Lincoln Division to accept more qualified applicants, an annual projected increase of 64 more students. Expansion will especially focus on the Lincoln area’s greatest need, which is for masters and doctorally prepared nurses to take roles in advanced clinical specialization and as educators in the area’s nursing education programs. An increase of 16 more master’s graduates and 8 more PhD graduates is projected with a new facility.

Better faculty offices and improved research space will aid in national recruitment of new faculty.

Q: Where will the new facility be located?

A: The planned site for the new building is on the East Campus at UNL situated north of the UNMC College of Dentistry and east of the Maxwell Arboretum. Dean Tilden of Nursing and Dean Reinhardt of Dentistry seek to realize efficiencies by the co-location of the two buildings, i.e. the availability of classrooms and auditoriums in each building for booking by the other College; the use of the nursing clinical skills labs for teaching medical skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation to dental students; and co-use of instructional and communication technology and IT personnel.

Q: Are adequate clinical sites available in the Lincoln Area?

A: Across the country, clinical sites for training are being replaced by high-technology clinical simulation labs, and we will do the same. We anticipate that by the time the full enrollment growth model is reached (2020), 50% of the clinical training will be in the labs of this facility, thus substantially reducing the demand on patients and clinical sites. Meanwhile, we enjoy collegial cooperation with other nursing programs in the area in negotiating use of clinical sites.

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