Published: Tue Dec 23, 2008Tennessee Tech University expects to increase the number of qualified nursing graduates in this region, thanks to its new Nursing & Health Services building and thanks to U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon for his efforts to secure federal funding for the facility.
Gordon toured the $24 million, 67,500-square-foot building on a recent visit to campus. Construction and equipment costs for the state-of-the-art facility were provided by private donors; corporate gifts and local, state and federal grants. It opened in August.
“This facility is a great addition to TTU’s nursing program,” said Gordon. “It will allow the University to continue and build upon its thorough training of nurses and offer a program that closely mirrors real world hospital situations.”
Of the total $24 million construction and furnishing costs, state funding provided $15.4 million, federal funding provided $2.5 million, and the remaining $6.1 million was provided by private donations. Student tuition and fees were not used to fund any portion of the building costs.
During his visit, Gordon saw some of the building’s innovative features, including a $1 million, 60-station computer lab, and three patient care laboratories that replicate real hospital settings: a fundamentals lab for teaching basic nursing skills, a women’s health and pediatrics lab (including childbirth simulators), and a critical care unit.
Campus officials expect the building to support a program that will eventually help to double or nearly triple TTU’s nursing enrollment. The building also houses the J.J. Oakley Campus Health Services office, a campus clinic for students, faculty and staff.
The facility serves physically and academically as the gateway to Cookeville’s growing medical district. It will also provide a high-tech location for continuing education courses for the area’s health care professionals, a requirement for maintaining licenses that can currently be met only as near as Nashville or Knoxville.