Thompson Rivers University

Green light for $30.6 million nursing building

March 24, 2017

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone announced a provincial investment that will kick-start the construction of a new nursing building.

It’s a green light for the Nursing and Population Health Building at TRU.

After acknowledging the “significant anticipation” of the announcement, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone delivered the news on Friday, March 24 to a crowd of about 150 students and university and community officials that the province will contribute $8.0 million and TRU will provide $22.6 million towards construction of the new facility.

Photos: BC Government Flickr album

The investment by the province is the last piece of funding needed to kick-start construction of the capital project.

The 4550 square meter (49,000 square feet), stand-alone building will house the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Health Care Assistant and the new Master of Nursing program, and supports TRU’s efforts to meet the need for nurses in the Thompson-Okanagan and throughout BC.

“This means more nurses on the ground, doing what they do best, healing and caring for people,” said Stone, noting the project will also generate $47 million in direct and indirect economic spinoffs for the city.

Nursing Dean Donna Murnaghan was hailed as a true champion for her steadfast efforts to push for the project.

“This represents so much more than a building,” Murnaghan said. “This will provide a sense of place for nursing students, a place for them to learn, grow, work and play,” she said, adding that it means big things for the future of not only nursing students but for the community and region.

“TRU will attract the brightest students in nursing and health to a learning environment that incorporates high-calibre advanced technology, equipment and resources. TRU, Kamloops and all the communities TRU serves will greatly benefit from graduates who have the knowledge and expertise to deliver the best care possible to the population,” said Murnaghan.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and Minister of Health Terry Lake echoed her comments.

“Health care is one of the largest sectors in the Thompson-Okanagan and the demand for skilled health care workers is expected to grow. This new investment in TRU will ensure residents in our region have the skilled health care workers they need,” Lake said.

Taryn Christian, a fourth-year nursing student, thanked Dean Murnaghan, TRU and the province, making remarks on behalf of nursing students. “This dedicated space will allow students to have greater access to faculty. It will facilitate communication between our health-care programs and foster mentorship and guidance,” explained Christian.

The Nursing and Population Health Building will feature multi-disciplinary simulation labs, classrooms and collaborative study spaces. TRU will be able to implement patient simulation technology in the new building.

“The ability to conduct patient simulation will increase our confidence. This will change the way students learn,” Christian said.

Meanwhile, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver commented that the new state-of-the-art facility will bring TRU to the next level.

“TRU has a long history of providing excellent health-care education. Thanks to the support of the province, we will be able to train the next generation of health-care workers using all the new techniques and equipment available so we can continue to serve the people of Kamloops and regions throughout the province,” said Shaver.

More than $2 million has already been raised privately toward construction of the building, including major contributions from the Stollery Charitable Foundation, as well as an anonymous donor who will be announced when the building is named.

Nurses and health-care assistants are high-priority health professions under the 2025 B.C. Labour Market Outlook. The Outlook forecasts that almost 30,000 nurses will be needed throughout B.C. over the next ten years. The projected high-demand for nurses is due in part to an aging population.

It is expected that construction will begin in spring 2018. Completion of the new building is anticipated for spring 2020 and ready for student occupancy in fall 2020. The project will create 102 jobs in construction and 74 jobs in supplier industries.

Media Contacts

Richelle D. Funk
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 356-7876

Christopher Seguin
Thompson Rivers University
250 574-0474

Read: New $30.6 million nursing building at TRU will open in 2020

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