John Brown University on Thursday announced a $6 million gift for a new nursing education facility and endowment for JBU’s new nursing program.
The gift is part of the approximately $10 million amount that will be raised to start the nursing program, including $6 million in construction costs and $4 million to endow operations and facility maintenance.
The lead gift’s donor asked to remain anonymous.
“We are immeasurably grateful for this gift that will enable JBU to train nurses to serve as critical caregivers and healers,” said JBU President Chip Pollard. “The profession of nursing aligns neatly with our core Christian value of serving our neighbors.”
Architectural planning for the estimated 20,000 square-foot nursing facility will start in 2014, with construction starting in 2015. The building will be open in Fall 2016, ready for the first cohort of nursing majors in JBU’s program.
“The regional and global need for highly educated nurses is profound and growing,” said Susan Barrett, JBU board member and retired president of Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas. “This anonymous gift will enable JBU to use its top-ranked academic knowhow to build a state-of-the-art nursing program.”
JBU was approved last month by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to begin recruiting students into the pre-nursing phase of the program to start fall of 2014. Completing the pre-nursing phase and the nursing program is expected to take, on average, about four years, said Brian Greuel, chair of the health and natural sciences division at JBU.
“We have been blessed with top notch laboratories and specialized equipment for our science programs, but to launch a nursing program requires another level of resourcing,” Greuel said. “This very generous gift will ensure our students have access to a high-tech training environment enabling them to be very well prepared to enter the nursing workforce.”
Graduates of JBU’s nursing program will hold a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
“Until now, the top requested major JBU didn’t offer was nursing,” said Ed Ericson, vice president of academic affairs. “We are deeply thankful for this gift which will make JBU a viable option for students who wanted JBU’s distinctive integration of faith and learning, and who felt they were called into nursing.”
John Brown University is a private Christian university located in Siloam Springs. JBU enrolls more than 2,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs.