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Planned UWG nursing facility gets funding | Business

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Planned UWG nursing facility gets funding
Business, Health, Schools
Planned UWG nursing facility gets funding

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- In an effort to address a critical need in Georgia's health care industry, Governor Nathan Deal and local lawmakers have approved a $16.5 million bond offering to fund a new building for the School of Nursing at the University of West Georgia.

The measure was part of the $18.3 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

In crafting the budget, lawmakers agreed that the state's long-term ability to meet its health care needs would hinge in part on its ability to address its worsening lack of nurses. A recent estimate found that Georgia is projected to have a shortage of more than 37,000 nurses by 2020.

"We are grateful to Governor Deal, to our entire legislative delegation, to other influential people who helped us get to this stage, and to our School of Nursing colleagues and Dean Kathryn Grams, who developed a strong proposal supported with a first-class program," said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of UWG.

The School of Nursing at UWG has had tremendous success in producing highly trained nurses.

RELATED: Scholarship established for UWG nursing students

However, the school has been unable to admit larger numbers of students to meet demand because of its restricted space.

For instance, in 2010, there were seats available for only 34 percent of bachelor of science in nursing applicants.

The new building will provide a state-of-the-art facility that will incorporate training labs with cutting edge technology and space for additional students and faculty.

In addition to its impact on the health care industry, the School of Nursing's growth will have broader economic benefits.

The building project will be a boon to construction and support industries in the region. And by producing more nurses, UWG will contribute to an industry in which the average annual salary is more than $65,000.

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