Emporia State University announces plans to move nursing department from hospital campus to its own

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Emporia State University plans to renovate Central Morse Hall over the next two years and move its nursing department into the building. The nursing department has been housed in the Cora Miller building at Newman Regional Health for years. Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

Emporia State University has announced plans to move its nursing department from the Newman Regional Health campus to its own.

ESU Vice President for Infrastructure Cory Falldine said the goal is to renovate part of Central Morse Hall, vacant since the end of the 2019 spring semester, as the department’s new headquarters. The ESU says the building is in “excellent structural condition.” From the university’s perspective, the timeline aligns with the department’s future plans with nursing in its second century of operation – and also with an agreement between the two entities for Emporia State’s use of the Cora Miller Building in 12th and Chestnut expiring in the summer of 2024. ESU says the move makes more financial sense than buying Cora Miller.

Newman Regional Health chief executive Bob Wright said the hospital has benefited from having the nursing school on its property, but he said Emporia State’s decision opens a conversation about ways whose hospital and university can work together to attract more students to Emporia State and more ESU graduates to the hospital. It also allows Newman Regional Health to include the Cora Miller facility in its own long-term plans.

The process has Kansas Board of Regents approval. The current plan is to solicit bids, do renovations, and then relocate the department within the next two years. Cost estimates have not been announced.

More information on ESU and NRH will be detailed on KVOE’s ESU Buzz at 8:20 a.m. Thursday.

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