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JBU gets $6 million for nursing program, facility

Posted: October 3, 2013 at noon

John Brown University has received a $6 million gift toward the $10 million it needs to launch a nursing program complete with its own facility.

The donor wants to remain anonymous, according to the news release announcing the gift.

Construction on the 20,000-square-foot facility is planned to start in 2015, with the building opening in the fall of 2016 for the first group of nursing majors at the college.

“The regional and global need for highly educated nurses is profound and growing,” Susan Barrett, JBU board member and retired president of Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas, said in the news release. “This anonymous gift will enable JBU to use its top-ranked academic knowhow to build a state-of-the-art nursing program.”

Full release:

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (Oct. 3, 2013) — John Brown University announced today a $6 million lead 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 launch the nursing program, including $6 million in construction costs and $4 million to endow operations and facility maintenance.

The lead gift’s donor wishes 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 Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “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 Dr. 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,” said Dr. Greuel. “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 BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) degree.

“Until now, the top requested major JBU didn’t offer was nursing,” said Dr. 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, ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 Best Value among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News and World Report. JBU enrolls more than 2,500 students from 42 states and 44 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

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