Lincoln University School of Nursing needs more space

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JEFFERSON CITY – Lincoln University’s School of Nursing recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, but some faculty are worried about the current size of the nursing school building.

The nursing school, which is at Elliff Hall, is looking to increase enrollment size and introduce new programs like study abroad opportunities. Officials said the size of the school is a factor preventing the addition of these programs.

Nursing Coordinator Jennifer McCord said the nursing school currently admits 30 students per semester in its five-semester program. 

“If we could expand to accepting 50 students per semester, we could take a maximum of 250 students, and that would contribute immensely to the shortage at the bedside,” McCord said.

She said a bigger building may also help introduce a master’s program to the nursing school.

“Space and faculty are some determining factors that we would need in order to do that, but we would like to eventually expand a master’s program for our community,” McCord said.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. may experience a shortage of registered nurses due to the high demand for health care and the aging of baby boomers.

McCord said accepting more students into the nursing program would help with this problem. 

She also said the opportunity to expand the building is dependent on finances from state appropriations and other appropriations.

“It is a very tight process for admissions ...There is a great, great demand for nurses at the bedside, and it would just be very beneficial to be able to accommodate that need.”

Grace Feutz, the simulation lab coordinator, said the simulation labs at the school allow students to be able to experience the responsibilities of a RN.

“The labs give students a chance to feel the whole role of being a registered nurse,” Feutz said. “They make decisions, they evaluate lab work, they assess a patient, whether it be a mannequin or a real person …It’s a wonderful avenue of teaching for us.”

Feutz said expanding the size of school would allow more space for lab equipment, which would also benefit and educate student nurses.

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