University proposes new health science education building on Kearney campus
UNMC has long sought to improve workforce shortages in the health care professions. Now, a proposed new facility on the University of Nebraska Kearney campus is the next step to address workforce shortages in nursing and the allied health professions.
University of Nebraska leaders are requesting $17 million in state funds to add a 30,000 square-foot addition to Bruner Hall of Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The building would increase teaching and research space, as well as educate more nurses for Nebraska.
The facility – part of NU's "Building a Healthier Nebraska" initiative -- also would house an expansion of UNMC's School of Allied Health Professions programs in the fields of clinical laboratory science, diagnostic medical sonography, physician assistant, physical therapy and radiography, as well as improve undergraduate health science education for University of Nebraska at Kearney students.
"Our experience has demonstrated that if students interested in rural practice are provided opportunities to obtain their education in rural communities, they have a greater likelihood of returning to those communities to practice after graduation," said Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the School of Allied Health Professions.
"By providing UNMC's high quality health profession education programs on the UNK campus, students interested in rural health will have the opportunity to obtain a health professions education without the necessity of relocating to Omaha."
Under the proposal, Dr. Meyer said enrollment increases of 10 percent to 20 percent in the five programs, phased in over four years, would result in a total increase in enrollment at UNK of approximately 50 allied health professions students.
Allied health professionals provide diagnostic and treatment services or use leading-edge technologies to derive essential diagnostic data. Allied health professionals constitute up to 60 percent of the approximately 12 million workers in the health care sector.