Lee University building $7 million School of Nursing - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lee University building $7 million School of Nursing

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

Lee University is working to prepare future nurses for the long-term with a new $7 million state-of-the-art School of Nursing facility.

"The fact that they had a nursing program is really what got me here," said James Davis, a sophomore nursing student at Lee University.

"Nurses get to do more of a day-to-day -- you get to talk to the person. You get to hold back their hair while they throw up in a bucket," Davis explained.

He will be part of the first class to get their nursing diplomas from Lee U.

Currently, 108 full-time students are enrolled in the program, which launched last year.

But right now, nursing students don't have their own space at the school. They're sharing classrooms with other majors, but won't have to for much longer.

The university already started breaking ground on the future School of Nursing.

"Having our own school is gonna be great," said Davis. "We kind of have weird schedules right now, because we have to work around other classes."

The three-story, 41,000-square-ft. facility is going up on the south side of campus, bordering downtown Cleveland.

"It's going to be not only beautiful, but it's going to serve the needs of our students now and well into the future," said Dr. Sara Campbell, professor and Dean of Nursing.

Campbell explained how the new facility will house high-tech labs with robot-like patients. Students will also use special technology centers for nursing specialties, like pediatrics and ob/gyn.

"They spend so much time in the nursing building, in the labs, and studying," Campbell said. "So, having their own place to do that and all of the equipment, support, and resources they need is really going to take it up a notch."

Campbell noted that the school's Christian-based background and curriculum is attractive for many students, hospitals, and local patients' families.

"You have to be skilled," said Davis. "But it's marrying those two skills -- being able to take care of their bodies and their spirits."

Construction on the new School of Nursing will begin this month. University officials say the building is slated to open in August 2016.

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