UNK Today | August 2014 - page 52

vice chancellor of academic
and student affairs, said.
The partnership between
UNK and UNMC will allow
health science majors at UNK
to pursue post-graduate degrees
as nurses, physicians assistants,
physical therapists, medical
technicians and more. Bicak
said that the number of students
in UNK’s health sciences
program have increased to
about 800. He said that number
should soon increase to 1,000.
“This project will be novel in
terms of delivery of curriculum
because it will be very integrat-
ed,” Bicak said.
Kristensen said that he
believes the new facility will
draw professional students to
campus to pursue post-gradu-
ate degrees in the health fields
offered at the new complex.
Both Kristensen and Bicak
said the new facility should help
to reduce the shortage of nurses
in rural health care, which is
estimated to be as many as
5,600 nurses by 2020, according
to a 2011 report by the Nebras-
ka Center for Nursing.
“We should be able to grow
and expand and meet the need
of rural Nebraska. That should
help all of these communities,”
Kristensen said. “It really is
going to be the best place for
them — as rural health-care
providers — to recruit good,
solid employees from.”
Bicak said students at the
new state-of-the art facility will
benefit from nearby hospitals and
medical centers where they will
be able to intern and gain valu-
able time in the hospital setting.
“The reaction to this has been
uniformly very positive, genu-
inely enthusiastic,” Bicak said
of area health-care providers.
The dual UNK-UNMC proj-
ect is funded, in part, with $15
million the Nebraska Legisla-
ture appropriated in 2012 as
part of the Building a Healthier
Nebraska Initiative. Another
$4 million in private and other
funding will come from UNK,
including a $1 million donation
the university received from
Good Samaritan Hospital and
Catholic Health Initiatives.
Fundraising efforts continue.
The new 30,000-square-foot
facility is being developed by
RDG Planning and Design of
Omaha. Lincoln-based Haus-
mann Construction will handle
construction.
The Health Sciences Educa-
tion Complex will be located
on the west edge of the UNK
campus on the corner of West
U.S. Highway 30 and Universi-
ty Drive.
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
ON TRACK:
Facility should help reduce nurse shortage in rural health care
Courtesy, RDG Planning and Design
AN ARTIST’S SKETCH
shows how classrooms will look in the
new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Education Complex. The
new facility will house seven programs in nursing and allied health
sciences.
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