University of Mary Hardin Baylor nursing students now have a new home on campus.
On Friday, the university dedicated its state-of-the-art nursing center. A desperate lack of medical professionals in Central Texas has prompted the school to beef up its program.
“It really is unbelievable what we are going to be able to accomplish here,” Dr. Sharon Souter, Dead of UMHB’s College of Nursing, said. "We know that by the year 2020, we're going to need to double our output. We know that nurses are going to retire. We know that we need to replace them."
The new $20 million Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center has all the tools a nursing students needs under one roof.
Guests got a tour of all the 72,000 square-foot facility at the Friday opening. Above the classrooms is a full simulation hospital.
"Now the students have the ability to have hands-on learning. Real time scenarios, where they have to react in real time to stuff the professors set up for them," UMHB graduate Kimberly McCartney said.
Each room can simulate numerous medical situations a nurse will encounter at a hospital and students will get immediate feedback.
It's that hands-on experience that gives current students like Anna Burnstad confidence entering the workforce.
"I'm so excited to get out there in the field, knowing that I'm one of the best prepared nurses out there,” she said. “This nursing school has been instrumental, essential to that."
This is the first semester nursing students will use the facility. UMHB plans to expand its enrollment in the nursing program to about 1,000 students.