Thompson Rivers University officially opened its new 49,000-square-foot Nursing and Population Health building via video conference Tuesday.
The multi-disciplinary facility — dubbed the Chappell Family Building — will house nursing and allied health programs, including bachelor of science in nursing, health-care assistant and master of nursing.
The three-storey building will be a hub for knowledge with classrooms, patient simulation labs, a home-care simulation lab, seminar rooms, student lounges, research space and breakout rooms.
The building’s lab space will have 48 beds — three times the former number of beds in the existing Ken Lepin Building.
The building’s patient simulation labs are equipped with advanced technology to replicate the work environments for a variety of hospitals and laboratories.
The centre will enable students to learn in an innovative, cohesive space that greatly improves their quality of education, according to TRU.
In a press release, TRU school of nursing dean Rani Srivastava said the building will ensure students are work ready once they are done their program.
“This new space for the TRU school of nursing will help us continue to educate and develop world-class health-care workers,” she said.
The province government contributed $8 million toward the $37.3-million building, which will help meet the demand for well-trained nurses, health-care assistants, respiratory therapists and other health workers.
Nurses and health-care assistants are in-demand health occupations, with more than 5,000 job openings for registered nurses, practical nurses and health-care assistants in the Thompson-Okanagan forecasted by 2029, according to a provincial press release.
Provincewide, the number of health-care job openings projected over the next 10 years is more than 78,000.
Students began learning in the new building last month.