School of Nursing and Health Sciences
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Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU), in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is a private liberal arts university enrolling nearly 2,700 students. For the sixth year, MVNU ranked in the top tier of "Best Baccalaureate Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report in its America's Best Colleges 2010 publication. I am grateful for the recognition and believe it is an affirmation of the high-quality and engaging educational experience which challenges our students to live a life that makes our world a better place.
We believe this same philosophy should be embraced and enacted at the institutional level as well. Thus, this project to completely renovate a 32,000 sq. ft., 1910 building in downtown Mount Vernon, accomplishes this purpose on many levels. Not only will the project address the explosive growth of the University's nursing program (+180 students from 0 at inception in five years), but it will also add facilities to expand our program offerings to meet the regional demands as identified by area health professionals.
Additionally, the project will enhance job creation in the growing health industry, spur local economy, and serve a role in transitioning central Ohio industry for the region's future. In an effort to lead the re-shaping of the delivery and design of higher education, multiple conversations have been held with Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) regarding the establishment of a collaborative partnership in terms of both shared space and academic programs.
The facility's first floor is being designed in anticipation of broader use by the Mount Vernon community. A Health Promotion Center is being planned to provide health screenings, immunizations, and preventive care to residents of Knox County. The Health Center has a secondary role of providing a practice arena for the nursing department's nurse-practitioner faculty and students. Additionally, community utilization of the facility's multi-functional classrooms and conference room is envisioned for various community meetings and events.
The core of the second floor consists of dedicated instructional clinical laboratories that will place students in "life-like" health-care settings using the latest computer simulation models and tools. Additionally, state-of-the-art observation rooms will be incorporated to allow instructors to view student practice and decisions by way of a two-way mirrors and digital recording capabilities. The instructors will then be able to review the recording with the students as a one-on-one teaching tool. Additionally, the second floor contains dedicated laboratories for expansion programs in fields such as Medical Technology. The third floor will house seminar classrooms, faculty offices, a conference room, and a student study lounge that place them in close proximity of faculty offices.
The profession of nursing continues in the National news as the shortage of registered practitioners plagues the country. Current economic conditions have resulted in a short respite in the nursing shortage in some areas of the nation. Even so, the long term projections of shortages of registered nurses (RN) remain. Close to one million of the nation's 2.6 million working RNs are over age 50 and expected to retire as soon as economic stability is assured (Buerhaus, 2010). Additionally, health care reform initiatives have created more jobs for nurses and physician job shortages is shifting more responsibilities to nurses and creating more jobs. Additionally, more people in the nation are entering the latter years of life, over age 65 years, therefore are expected to use more health care services. Career prospects remain strong for nurses for many years.
To date, we have received gift support of $2 million and are seeking to raise the remaining $1.6 million by August 2011.
-- Dr. Daniel J. Martin, MVNU President