Lakeview College of Nursing expanding with its enrollment

Lakeview College of Nursing expanding with its enrollment

DANVILLE – Lakeview College of Nursing officials soon will launch a $450,000 building expansion, adding much-needed classroom space at the Danville campus.

Chief Executive Officer Dick Shockey said the project was prompted by the college's growing enrollment, which stands at 255 this fall.

"We've grown by almost 200 students in the last six years," Shockey said. He added that the growth has taken place in Danville and Lakeview's site at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

"We're thrilled about it," added Amy McFadden, the college's recruitment and marketing coordinator.

The project calls for a 2,500-square-foot addition onto the northeast side of the existing building at 903 N. Logan Ave. The land, now part of a parking lot owned by Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, was donated by the hospital.

The addition will house a classroom on the ground floor and one directly above on the second floor. Both will seat 50 students.

It also will include a student study room on the first floor. "It's a place where they can go and study other than the library," Shockey said.

Architect Don Walton of Walton & Associates Architects in Springfield designed the addition to blend in with an earlier one built in 1993. The college's board is selecting a contractor.

Shockey expects construction will begin by November. It's scheduled to wrap up by Aug. 1, 2007, in time for the fall semester's start later that month.

Lakeview also is building a parking lot north of United Samaritans' lot by the college. College faculty and students used the hospital's lot, but the hospital reclaimed it after it moved several departments from the old Sager campus to the Logan Avenue one, Shockey said.

The building addition comes none too soon.

In 2000, enrollment was at a low of 56, McFadden said. It is now at 255, she said, with 138 students at the Danville site and 117 at Eastern's.

McFadden pointed out growth in the number of minority students – 99, which is up 38 percent from 2000. She also pointed out an increase in the number of male students – 27, up 10.5 percent.

McFadden and Shockey attribute most of the increased enrollment to demand for nursing professionals locally and across the United States. By 2020, there will be a need for 800,000 or 1 million additional nurses, "depending on which source you read," McFadden said.

Shockey said the population is aging, and people are living longer and demanding more health care. McFadden added that nurses in the baby boomer generation are retiring or will be in the next few years.

She also believes more people are drawn to the opportunities in nursing, which has exploded over the years. "Nursing has become very diversified," she said. "It used to be you were a bedside nurse in a hospital. Now, there's home health care, nursing in industries. There's just a wide variety of opportunities."

Shockey and McFadden also attribute the enrollment spike to an interest in the college's accelerated program that allows transfer students to earn a degree in 16 months instead of the traditional 22 months.

"It includes a summer session so students can go straight through," McFadden said. "It's still four semesters, but it's at a quicker pace."

In addition to the building expansion, Shockey said the college will have to hire more instructors.

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