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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

New nursing building promises more opportunities for Murray State students

School of Nursing Building Rendering. The illustration was created by RossTarrant Architects, Ayers Saint Gross. Photo provided by Murray State University

Plans are being finalized for the new Nursing and Health Professions building with the goal to provide students with more opportunities to practice skills learned in the classroom.

The proposed building design includes three levels, space for larger classrooms, a health service clinic, a simulation center, learning spaces and more. 

Dina Byers, dean of Nursing and Health Professions, said the simulation center and clinical learning spaces are an expansion on what is currently being offered to students. 

“Our Health Assessment Lab and Essential Skills Lab is a shared space and it doesn’t give us a lot of opportunities for students to go in there and practice,” Byers said. “With the new building, the plan is to have an essential skills lab separate from the health assessment lab [and the] simulation center, so students will have more opportunities to go and practice and to learn from each other.”

The building will provide students with more space for student support on each floor where students can collaborate or study alone. Mason Hall currently provides students with spaces to study, prepare for exams and work on projects. 

Byers said it is her hope to bring in other areas in the School of Nursing and Health Professions like exercise science and public and community health eventually. 

The building design proposal includes space for three large classrooms. Byers said this presents a great opportunity for the program to grow and for students to gain clinical experience while waiting for a placement. 

“Our smaller classrooms hold 44 students and that’s been our max each semester and with a new space, we anticipate we will have [three] 260 person classrooms and a 50 person classroom, which allows us to grow,” Byers said. “I think we’ll be able to use simulation to help facilitate those clinical experiences. They could potentially practice those skills in a safe environment and then carry it out at the hospital setting and those hours would all be able to carry on as clinical learning.”

Jason Youngblood, director of facilities management, said that based on cost estimates, not everything would be able to go into this new building. 

“We are going about it as, what can we get into this building today with the budget we have and then design a phase two, if more funding becomes available,” Youngblood said. 

In her Board report, Byers said there are plans to move the exercise science program into the new building. There is also the possibility for additional health programs to move into Mason Hall. 

Bob Jackson, Murray State University President, said he is pleased with the preliminary work and design on the new Nursing and Health Professions building. 

Our nursing and healthcare programs are growing and addressing the needs of our region and state in this important area,” Jackson said. “This new facility will be state-of-the-art and assist our students with their academic preparation in these essential fields.”

Construction is set to begin in March 2024, with an estimated completion by January 2026.

Jill Smith/The News
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About the Contributors
Jill Smith, Assistant News Editor
Jillian Smith is Assistant News Editor at The News. Smith is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Smith is also a Graduate Assistant in Student Affairs. Beyond working and class, Smith enjoys reading, coffee, and listening to music.
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini, Photography Editor
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini began photographing for The News in fall 2022 and began Photo Editor in 2023. She loves to photograph all things sports, but especially baseball. A journalism major, she minors in Spanish.

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