July 13, 2022 at 5:00pm
Kendall Trump, Class of 2013

$2 million federal grant will go toward construction

The School of Nursing at Millikin University has a long-standing reputation for excellence in nursing education. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, the School of Nursing has continued this tradition of excellence, despite never having its own designated space within the University. Currently, nursing faculty offices and learning labs are spread throughout four areas in two different buildings on campus, and the program lacks a simulation lab.

In efforts to continue the tradition of exceeding best standards of practice in nursing education and to attract exceptional students and faculty, Millikin is undergoing a multi-phase project to upgrade and enhance School of Nursing facilities and equipment. “Further enhancement of our facilities will not only allow students to be exposed to a realistic, innovative pedagogy that is now being recognized as highly valuable but will also contribute to their ability to take part and excel in Performance Learning, a hallmark of Millikin University,” remarked Dr. Pam Lindsey, retired dean of the College of Professional Studies.

The first phase of the project is student-focused and meant to provide spaces for students to study and practice their skills. To this end, a nursing simulation laboratory will be constructed within the first floor of West Towne Square. The second phase of the project will add offices to the second floor of West Towne Square, while the third phase will outfit the second floor of Millikin Institute with two classrooms and various offices. The result of these projects will create a centralized location on Millikin’s campus for the School of Nursing, which will both provide a home for the program and facilitate improved collaboration among nursing students and faculty.

Millikin recently received a federal grant for $2 million toward the project, which is estimated to cost a total of $4 million. Within the total project cost is $200,000 of endowed maintenance to provide continued support of the space following the project’s completion. The federal funds will be used to construct the simulation laboratory, which will include various modern spaces for simulating obstetrics and pediatrics, medical offices, health assessments and several other disciplines.

The simulation laboratory will allow nursing students to practice skills such as administering injections, checking vital signs and monitoring blood pressure in a dedicated, state-of-the- art laboratory. Additionally, the facility will feature a control room with technology to run simulations and communicate with participants.

The realistic, hands-on experiences that will become accessible with these facilities are essential to nursing students as simulation techniques have been utilized in nursing education for decades. With the rapid evolution of technology in the medical field, nursing students will benefit immensely by working directly with different technologies through the simulation lab.

“Simulation is optimally used for low-frequency, high-risk situations, as clinical judgment is particularly important when patients are in potentially life-threatening situations,” Lindsey explained. “As educators, we need to be able to replicate these situations via simulation in a way that allows for the development of skills in our students.”

Construction on the project and renovation of West Towne Square are planned to begin this summer, with BLDD (Decatur, Ill.) acting as the University’s architectural partner. Millikin will continue fundraising efforts for the remaining $2 million needed to complete phases two and three of the School of Nursing project.

For more information on naming opportunities, contact Dan Baker at drbaker@millikin.edu or 217.424.3757.

Category:

Campus Nursing