SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – The new nursing education center at Lincoln Land Community College is ready to welcome new students starting this fall.

LLCC officials said the college and Memorial Health System partnered up to build this center in order to help address the regional nursing shortage. The new center will allow 90 additional students to enroll in the nursing program each year.

“Unfortunately, our region continues to experience a nursing shortage that has made the last few months incredibly more challenging,” said president and CEO of Memorial Health System Ed Curtis. “The formal opening of this new LLCC Nursing Education Center is visible proof of the ongoing collaboration between LLCC and Memorial Health System to address the nursing shortage in this region. This state-of-the-art facility creates expanded learning opportunities for LLCC students and enables LLCC to continue to increase its nursing enrollment over the next few years.”

According to a news release, the new nursing education center officially opened on Thursday.

“This facility marks a new era as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the LLCC nursing program, which has produced nearly 4,000 nursing graduates,” added Dr. Charlotte Warren, president of LLCC.

“We are thrilled to open the doors of this new center with our Memorial Health System partners, just in time for the start of the fall semester,” said chair of the LLCC Board of Trustees Ken Elmore. “The LLCC/Memorial Health System partnership addresses the need for more students to graduate from our nursing program and live and work in our communities, and aligns with both of our missions, to improve lives and serve our communities.”

LLCC and Memorial Health System began their partnership to build the new nursing education center in February of 2020. Memorial Health System gifted LLCC $6.1 million to help renovate the west wing of Montgomery Hall, get new school equipment, and hire more faculty and staff.

“Memorial is proud to employ so many LLCC nursing graduates here in Springfield and at our hospitals and clinics across the region. Like the students who are educated here at LLCC, we are deeply committed to meeting the health care needs of the people in the communities we serve. Supporting the future generation of nursing professionals is one way to do that” said senior vice president and chief nursing officer Marsha Prater.

School officials said the center includes:

  • 1,900-square-foot nursing skills lab
  • Simulation labs, including a labor/delivery lab
  • Practice lab
  • Classrooms
  • Office space for nursing program staff

A celebration of the new facility and the LLCC nursing program’s 50th anniversary will be scheduled in the near future.