Closings and delays

Nursing programs ready for more space, Union Square groundbreaking

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A nursing student knocks on the door and enters a room with a mannequin lying on a recliner.

She’s been taught what to ask the computerized voice that responds to her questions and what to look for as signs of trouble but until she does it on her own several times with teachers out of sight that student won’t be ready to do it for real.

This is a process that’s repeated over and over again with 200 nursing students enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They are spread across five buildings but only have one part of one room to make sure each nurse has had enough reps with a home visit to get it right.

“It takes more faculty, it takes more time, it takes more setup; it takes more when you are so spread out in all those different places,” said Robin Remsburg, dean of the School of Nursing at UNCG.

That’s one reason nursing program leaders are more than ready to welcome the class of 2020 to campus. It signifies more for nursing schools across the city.

UNCG, Guilford Technical Community College and North Carolina A&T students are set to open the Union Square facility in the fall of 2016 and that starts with a groundbreaking Tuesday.

Union Square will be a $37 -40 million learning facility that the schools will share with Moses Cone Health. It will house 81,500 square feet of shared space with state of the art technology to help students learn.

“There's such high demand for nurses at all levels and there's a great demand for nurses to increase their skills to a higher level,” said Ed Kitchen, who has been working on the project intensely for the last three years.

Kitchen said the project helps the city of Greensboro standout as a unique place for nurses to further their education. Building on two acres of undeveloped land at the corner of South Elm Street and East Lee Street will also leave about seven acres open for new development.

“It's probably the biggest totally vacant land mass we have in our downtown area,” said Kitchen.

The new building will also serve as the new entryway into downtown from the south.

Nursing program leaders are working together to set up a system for sharing the facility, which leaders believe will be used six days a week for up to 12 hours at a time.