Amid efforts to expand non-traditional student offerings, Lincoln University opened a new nursing facility Tuesday morning in St. Robert.
The 11,500-square-foot facility with a "hospital atmosphere" consists of four nursing simulator rooms, two classrooms, a computer lab, a student resource lab, faculty offices, study areas and a lounge in the St. Robert municipal building, just north of Lincoln's Fort Leonard Wood campus.
Lincoln is offering a part-time evening curriculum at the facility to meet the academic needs of active-duty military personnel at Fort Leonard Wood and their dependents in surrounding Pulaski, Laclede, Phelps, Texas and Dent counties. The facility will not provide medical treatment to patients.
University President John Moseley and administrators toured the site and hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.
"It's a really neat opportunity for us," Moseley said. "The School of Nursing has been so instrumental in that area for a number of years now."
Lincoln University's School of Nursing was founded in 1971 and quickly became one of the school's top academic programs in terms of both enrollment and outcomes.
The school offers an associate of applied science degree in nursing at its Fort Leonard Wood campus, as well as a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a registered nurse to bachelor of science degree, aimed at working nurses looking to get a degree in the field, at its main Jefferson City campus.
The nursing program has maintained a presence around Fort Leonard Wood and St. Robert since the 1980s, Moseley said.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Lincoln's nursing program off the military base, he said, so university staff pivoted to the new location in the St. Robert municipal building.
"It's a beautiful space, and there's a lot of traffic, and there's a lot of growth occurring currently in our nursing majors in that area," Moseley said.
The expansion is the latest step in Lincoln's move to attract more adult learners and non-traditional college students. The university is also looking to offer more online course and degree options as well as several professional certificate programs.
"We will use this facility to continue to explore what's needed and determine if we have the capability to provide different degree programs or certificate programs in that area," Moseley said.