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New nursing and population health building opens in Kamloops

Nursing and health-care assistant students at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) will have access to state-of-the-art health-care facilities for high-demand careers delivering the health-care services that British Columbians count on.

A new 4,552 square-metre (49,000 square-foot) multi-disciplinary building – the Chappell Family Building for Nursing and Population Health – will house nursing and allied health programs, including bachelor of science in nursing, health-care assistant and master of nursing.

“This new state-of-the-art training facility will be a game changer for health-care students at TRU,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our government is committed to student success and providing education and training close to home. By investing in advanced health-care technology and education, we are equipping the next generation of health professionals with the skills needed to provide British Columbians with the highest standard of health-care services.”

The building will help meet the demand for well-trained nurses, health-care assistants, respiratory therapists and other health workers. The Province has invested $8 million toward the $37.3-million project.

“The advanced health-care technology housed in this new training facility at TRU will ensure students throughout B.C.’s Interior will have access to much needed health-care training close to home,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. By investing in cutting-edge technology and training facilities, our government is bringing high-quality health-care training to every community in our province. Students at TRU will now be better equipped for a rewarding career in health care, helping deliver the high standard of services British Columbians deserve.”

The three-storey building will be a hub for knowledge with classrooms, patient simulation labs, a home-care simulation lab, seminar rooms, student lounges, research space and breakout rooms. The building’s lab space will have 48 beds, three times the former number of beds in the existing Ken Lepin Building.

The building’s patient simulation labs are equipped with advanced technology that will replicate the work environments for a variety of hospitals and laboratories. This centre will enable students to learn in an innovative, cohesive space that greatly improves their quality of education.

Nurses and health-care assistants are in-demand health occupations. There are over 5,000 job openings for registered nurses, practical nurses and health-care assistants in the Thompson-Okanagan forecasted by 2029. Provincewide, the number of health-care job openings projected over the next 10 years is more than 78,000.

According to the 2019 BC Labour Market Outlook, there will be more than 141,000 job openings between 2019-29 in the health-care and social assistance sector, for a total of 16.5% of job openings.

Quotes:

Brett Fairbairn, president and vice-chancellor, TRU –

“TRU will have capacity to improve access for students, improve transition into the labour market, enrich research opportunities and simulate the full spectrum of health-care environments. For this, I am proud of today’s opening.”

Rani H. Srivastava, dean, TRU school of nursing –

“This new space for the TRU school of nursing will help us continue to educate and develop world-class health-care workers. This space will enable students to be work ready once they are done their program.”

Lisa Bonang, TRU student, bachelor of science in nursing program –

“This new building will transform how my classmates and I learn to be the future health-care workers in B.C. We are excited to use this new facility.”

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