Alabama Governor Kay Ivey presented a $1,000,000 grant today to assist Huntsville Hospital in building a nursing simulation lab at Calhoun Community College’s Huntsville campus. The lab is the final piece necessary for Calhoun to establish a new nursing program in Huntsville, similar to its program in Decatur. According to Calhoun officials, the new two-year education program could graduate up to 48 additional Registered Nurses a year beginning in 2020.
Joining Governor Ivey at the announcement at Huntsville Hospital were HH Health System CEO David Spillers, COO Jeff Samz, and Dr. James Klauber, President of Calhoun Community College.
Spillers said that the partnership is “perfectly timed for our community and region. The need for more nurses is significant across the country. This is especially so in areas that are growing like Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley. We are grateful to Governor Ivey for providing the funding which will help make this a reality.”
Samz added, “The winners in this partnership are the patients across our community who will have greater access to the nursing care they need. This project is indicative of how state government, our community college and our public hospital can work together for the benefit of Alabamians.”
Calhoun’s President Klauber said, “Huntsville Hospital and Calhoun Community College have for many years enjoyed a very successful partnership. Each year, the Hospital provides much needed clinical training slots for many of our nursing students, and recognizes the quality of our graduates by regularly hiring a significant number of them,” said Klauber.
“We value our partnership and see this exciting, new initiative as an extension of this relationship as the Hospital and College work together to help fill our community’s growing demand for highly-trained and qualified nurses. The launch of our nursing program this fall at our Huntsville campus will create 48 new slots for our nursing program, which represents a 20% increase in the size of our program overall,” Klauber added.
Dean of Health Sciences at Calhoun, Bret McGill, echoed the praise for the effort. “I know that I speak for our entire Nursing department at Calhoun when I say how excited we are to work with Huntsville Hospital in establishing this new clinical lab and lecture space for nursing education at our Huntsville campus.”
“Each year, we have to turn away dozens of very qualified applicants to our Nursing program due to space and clinical limitations. This new initiative will now allow us to open up additional spaces in the program as we work toward meeting the area’s nursing shortage,” McGill said.
Hospital and school officials estimated the cost of building and furnishing the nursing simulation lab at $2.5 million. The $1 million grant from the Alabama Capital Improvement Trust Fund will be used towards the construction of the lab. Huntsville Hospital will provide the balance of the funding and will oversee the construction project in coordination with Calhoun staff. On-going costs for clinical faculty and facility operating expenses will be Calhoun’s responsibility.