More nurses are needed. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the nurse shortage will reach 1.2 million by 2020.

Illinois State University is celebrating the next step in preparing outstanding future nurses with the grand opening of the Mennonite College of Nursing Simulation Laboratory at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 19. The event is open to the public, and includes tours of the facility.

The new laboratory, on the corner of Normal Avenue and Locust Street, will provide students with technologically advanced assessment labs, classrooms, offices and patient simulation areas that will mimic real-world nursing situations. Video capture capabilities at the over $2 million facility will allow for immediate feedback.

“Every day, we read and watch stories about the growing complexity of the U.S. healthcare system and the critical need for nurses with advanced training,” said University President Al Bowman. “Illinois State and the Mennonite College of Nursing are working tirelessly to meet this challenge.”

According to Illinois State’s Mennonite College of Nursing Dean Janet Krejci, simulation is becoming a larger, necessary component of clinical nursing education. “Technology in today’s hospitals, doctor’s offices, critical care facilities and long-term care facilities has outpaced many collegiate nursing programs,” she said, calling the 10,000 square-foot MCN Nursing Simulation Laboratory a “world class laboratory in which to prepare our students.”

For additional information or for special accommodations, contact the office of University Events at (309) 438-8790.