ST. LOUIS — University of Missouri - St. Louis officials on Friday kicked off construction on phase 1 of a $7 million renovation and expansion for its Nursing Learning Resource and Simulation Center.
It's the first step in the university's goal to address the nursing shortage at local hospitals, officials said. UMSL officials cited a Missouri Hospital Association report that said the nursing vacancy rate in St. Louis-area hospitals is 10.4% and is expected to rise.
"UMSL is committed to improving health resources throughout the St. Louis region and beyond," UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said in a statement. "We're uniquely positioned to provide top notch, yet affordable instruction and graduate superior nurses, which is critical during this unprecedented time. The expansion of our clinical learning facilities will be key to achieving that result."
Once completed, the Nursing Learning Resource and Simulation Center will have 21,000 square feet of space with 11 simulation rooms — up from the current five rooms — and will help UMSL grow the number of pre-licensure BSN students it graduates by 20% annually. The expansion is adding 5,000 square feet to the building and will include renovations of the existing skills lab in Seton Hall.
The project will cost $7 million for both construction and equipment costs. UMSL has raised $1.5 million toward the first phase with support from donors including Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, Mary E. Walker, Nancy and Don Ross, and Terry and Stan Freerks.
St. Louis firm Archimages designed the space and the first phase of the project is expected to be complete in summer 2021.
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