Colby-Sawyer College has received $1.5 million in federal funding to support the construction of a new home for its School of Nursing & Health Sciences.
The $1.5 million, allocated as part of the 2022 government funding bill signed into law by President Joseph Biden earlier this year, was earmarked to support the construction of a new nursing and health sciences building on campus at the request of U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. These funds bring the total amount raised for the $15.7 million project to $9.5 million.
“We are grateful to Sen. Shaheen for her continued support of the college’s commitment to preparing uniquely qualified healthcare professionals for generations to come,” Colby-Sawyer President Susan. D. Stuebner said. “This state-of-the-art facility will ensure that Colby-Sawyer is prepared to meet the latest trends in healthcare education while also serving as a space that will benefit students across all majors.”
Colby-Sawyer announced its intention to construct a new 20,500-square-foot home for its School of Nursing & Health Sciences earlier this year to help accommodate growing enrollment within its undergraduate nursing and health science programs. Construction of the facility, slated to begin this spring and be completed by fall 2024, will also allow the college to integrate state-of-the-art technology into its classrooms and laboratories.
The announcement of the building and the college’s commitment to increasing enrollment in its health science programs comes at a time when healthcare providers across the nation are struggling to fill workforce vacancies. According to a recent NH Business Review survey, more than 2,000 healthcare worker vacancies in New Hampshire were left unfilled in 2018, with experts saying they expect that number to increase in the future.
To address this shortage, Colby-Sawyer has pledged to significantly increase enrollment in its undergraduate nursing program, expand its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and add additional health science programs in areas of specific need. These programs include a master’s degree in social work as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
“All of us at Colby-Sawyer are grateful to Sen. Shaheen for her leadership and for her support of the college’s efforts in addressing a growing shortage of highly trained healthcare professionals,” Vice President for College Advancement Dan Parish said. “This new facility will not only provide state-of-the-art laboratory and simulation spaces for health sciences students, but it will also serve as a gathering place at the heart of the campus for our entire community.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen successfully advocated for the inclusion of $62 million to support projects in New Hampshire involving infrastructure, healthcare, research, homeland security and more. The $1.5 million being allocated toward a new School of Nursing & Health Sciences building is among more than $15 million being designated toward labor and health and human services projects in the Granite State.
“I’m thrilled that Colby-Sawyer is benefitting in a big way from the congressionally directed spending process, which demonstrates why this process is so important to help smaller states like New Hampshire get their fair share,” said Shaheen, after the government funding bill was signed into law earlier this year. “I pushed for these federal dollars to be included for Colby-Sawyer’s nursing program because we know about the incredible education and training provided at the college, which is a boon to our nursing workforce in New Hampshire. As we fight our way through the pandemic, increasing our healthcare workforce — especially among nursing staff — is pivotal. Nurses are healthcare heroes and I’m thrilled to see this funding come home to New Hampshire to help train and educate the next group of these devoted professionals.”
The two-story facility will include common areas and conference spaces, as well as classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, a simulation center and a coffee shop, among other spaces.