July 14, 2024
Colorado wants well being care employees. MSU Denver has a plan to offer them

With the state going through a essential scarcity of expert well being care employees, Metropolitan State College of Denver has launched into an bold plan to broaden its capability to satisfy the rising demand.

The College has begun work on a brand new 18,000-square-foot health-simulation laboratory that may enable it to coach extra nurses and different well being professionals in state-of-the-art services that mirror typical medical environments.

MSU Denver can also be in search of state funding this 12 months for the preliminary stage of a 70,000-square-foot well being training constructing that may enable the College to convey its health-related tutorial applications below one roof. The brand new facility, MSU Denver leaders stated, will even enhance pupil capability in these applications, which presently embrace greater than 5,200 college students, by a mean of 32%.

“Colorado wants these college students within the workforce now greater than ever,” stated President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., noting that the state had almost 900,000 distinctive well being care job postings final 12 months, in accordance with a 2022 Expertise Pipeline Report.

“We have to do every part we will to fill that pipeline,” she stated. “The well being of our communities will depend on it.”

Colorado wants well being care employees. MSU Denver has a plan to offer them
MSU Denver Nursing college students administer vaccines at a neighborhood clinic. Colorado will quickly be brief greater than 10,000 nurses, in accordance with a 2021 evaluation by the human-resources consulting agency Mercer. Photograph by Amanda Schwengel

In 2018, the College created its Well being Institute, a collaboration amongst 10 tutorial departments centered on well being and wellness. MSU Denver’s interdisciplinary emphasis helps college students discover careers whereas making ready them to work together with individuals who work in associated fields, simply as they could in a big hospital setting, stated Emily Matuszewicz, DC, the Well being Institute’s director of Improvement and Partnerships.

The Well being Institute at MSU Denver

A collaboration of 10 tutorial departments centered on well being and wellness:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Well being Professions
  • Human Efficiency and Sport
  • Human Providers and Counseling
  • Nursing
  • Vitamin
  • Psychological Sciences
  • Social Work
  • Speech, Language and Listening to Sciences

“Traditionally, we’ve seen a siloed strategy to each greater training and health-related fields,” she stated. “We’re working not simply to construct capability for extra college students in well being fields however to offer these college students a greater tutorial expertise throughout a number of disciplines in order that they’ll turn out to be problem-solvers and leaders within the well being care trade.”


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Whereas the tutorial institute has been in place for 5 years, centralized bodily house to make cross-department collaboration doable has been more durable to come back by. So MSU Denver is pursuing state funding and fundraising alternatives to assist the College’s integrative strategy and to extend its capability to serve college students.

Final 12 months, MSU Denver obtained $10 million from the state to construct the Well being Institute Simulation Labs, a renovation of the present West Classroom constructing on the Auraria Campus that may greater than double the capability of the Nursing Division.

MSU Denver presently turns away about half of the candidates to its Nursing program due to house constraints, and pre-Nursing college students who don’t get in typically switch or drop out of faculty.

The brand new simulation facility will function abilities labs, simulated hospital rooms, a nurses station, an ambulance bay and a house well being house the place college students can apply in-home care.

Rendering of nursing simulation laboratory
A brand new 18,000 square-foot simulation laboratory in MSU Denver’s Well being Institute will embrace simulated hospital rooms, as depicted on this rendering.

Along with the Sim Labs which can be on observe to be accomplished by summer season 2024, MSU Denver has submitted a capital request to state lawmakers that may fund the preliminary stage of the Well being Institute Tower undertaking, a 70,000-square-foot addition to the campus’ West Classroom constructing. The interdisciplinary well being training facility would come with labs and know-how that might scale back dependency on scarce medical placements.

Plans for the tower embrace community-facing clinics for Speech, Language and Listening to Sciences and psychological and behavioral well being; an interprofessional-skills lab, a Social Work classroom and lab, an exercise-science lab, a fitness-assessment lab, and an illustration kitchen for Vitamin lecture rooms.


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“Attending to apply all of our strategies will assist us with understanding sufferers’ well being and conserving affected person care a precedence,” stated MSU Denver pupil Virginia Navarro, an Train Science main who desires to turn out to be a bodily therapist. “These new labs are actually going to assist.”

In his November price range proposal, Gov. Jared Polis beneficial funding the tower undertaking as a result of it’s going to “present highly-qualified graduates with the training and expertise wanted to enter into the public-health, nursing, and behavioral-health workforce.”

However legislators on the state’s Capital Improvement Committee and Joint Price range Committee even have a say on which public tasks obtain funding earlier than the complete legislature passes the price range and sends it to the governor to signal into regulation.

Virginia Navarro works in an Exercise Science laboratory at MSU Denver.
Train Science main Virginia Navarro hopes turn out to be a bodily therapist after graduating from her Well being Institute program at MSU Denver. Photograph by Amanda Schwengel

Associated: Our nurse provide is operating out


Lawmakers are contemplating the request as Colorado faces a dire scarcity of well being care employees.

Colorado’s 2022 Expertise Pipeline report stated well being care employers needed to repost jobs 5 instances on common earlier than discovering the expertise wanted to fill every place, an indication of a drastic workforce scarcity that’s projected to get even worse.

A 2021 evaluation from the human-resources consulting agency Mercer tasks that the USA may have a scarcity of greater than 3 million essential well being care employees by 2026, with Colorado among the many worst-situated states particularly within the fields of psychological well being and nursing. Mercer estimated that Colorado will quickly be brief greater than 10,000 nurses, third-worst within the nation.

Navigate Your Well being Profession Occasion

Are you a pupil within the well being subject? Be part of the Well being Institute and Classroom to Profession Hub for a health-career exploration occasion. Register right here.

Feb. 24 | 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

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MSU Denver isn’t centered on merely filling these roles – it goals to fill them with well being care employees who replicate the communities they serve. The Well being Institute affords sturdy financial-aid applications and student-support providers that goal to recruit and retain college students from underserved communities.

“There’s increasingly more proof telling us that when a supplier appears just like the affected person, or when a supplier has some lived expertise related to that affected person and what they’re going via, you could have higher well being outcomes,” Matuszewicz stated. “Colorado is a largely medically underserved state, so we’re attempting to function many well being care college students as doable.”

Study extra and assist MSU Denver’s Well being Institute right here.