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UMMC breaks ground on School of Nursing

UMMC breaks ground on School of Nursing

By: Sarah Ulmer - June 28, 2023

A architectural rendering shows UMMC's new School of Nursing, which will allow for a 25 percent increase in students.

The new facility will include renovations to the current rehabilitation center as well as a new three-story tower. Funding for the project is coming from ARPA funds appropriated by the Legislature.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) broke ground today on the construction of a new School of Nursing.

The UMMC School of Nursing will increase student participation by 25 percent utilizing the 106,000 square-foot state of the art school.  The facility will be located off of Lakeland Drive and will provide classroom and laboratory space. The project is expected to be finalized by 2026.

reaking ground on the new UMMC School of Nursing are, from left, Dr. Scott Rodgers, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Michael Parnell, UMMC School of Nursing Alumni Association president; Rep. John Read; Rep. Jason White; House Speaker Philip Gunn; Dr. Tina Martin, interim dean of the School of Nursing; nursing students Rayne Jensen and Amari Reginal; Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine; Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann; U.S. Rep. Michael Guest; Higher Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr.; and architect Jim Eley, principal of Eley Guild Hardy Architects.

UMMC first opened a School of Nursing in 1963.

“This will be a great day for our current educators and nursing students, but it will also be a celebration for the many nurses who graduated from UMMC,” said Dr. Tina Martin, who will begin serving as interim dean of the School of Nursing on July 1. “The care provided by our graduates has touched untold millions of lives.”

The groundbreaking took place next to the University Rehabilitation Center, which will be renovated with clinical simulations and skills labs. The building will also house a virtual and augmented reality laboratory, home environment laboratory and standardized patient primary care suite.

Also available for students will be a place for studying and debriefing.

In addition to the one-story renovations to the rehabilitation center will be a three-story tower. The tower includes classrooms, an auditorium, group study rooms, faculty officers, meeting rooms and an undergraduate student lounge.

The cost for the School of Nursing is estimated to be $55 million. UMMC is using coronavirus state and local recovery funds authorized by the American Recovery Plan Act. The dollars were appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature in 2022. This funding was in addition to $12 million for the Medical Center

“With the additional space, the School of Nursing will be moving into the future,” said Dr. Joe Tacy, associate professor of nursing and associate dean for academic affairs. “Not only will we have updated educational areas, but we will have the space needed to increase nursing enrollment.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 203,200 openings for registered nurses each year through 2031, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“There is a huge need, we think as many as 3,000 nurses short here,” said Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann. “We need nurses, and what better to have them educated than at the University of Mississippi Medical Center?” 

Rep. Jason White, speaker pro tempore of the state House of Representatives, said the new facility “moves our nursing program in the state forward.” 

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: