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Innovative new home for Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing opens

October 1, 2017

Western has officially opened the doors on its new Nursing building, a state-of-the-art facility combining the best of academic learning and clinical education. The Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, part of the Faculty of Health Sciences, is academic home to more than 1,200 students.

The new four-storey building — with a total of 130,000-square-feet of space and costing $41 million — features an atrium at the nexus of its two wings and is infused with natural light and plenty of flexible spaces. One wing is the new home to the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.

The wing that houses the nursing-education facility includes more classroom and clinical training space, seminar rooms, graduate student research space and collaborative learning areas.

One key feature is its unique suite of 16 beds that form a simulated hospital setting. There, students can prepare for placements as they learn everything from vaccinations to advanced acute care, with live model “patients” and with computerized mannequins that can be programmed to replicate almost any health ailment or situation.

 “We are preparing students not only for practical skills they will need, but equipping them for the comprehensive layers of problem-solving, critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making that are required components of nurses’ daily roles,” said Associate Professor Vicki Smye, director of Western’s nursing program. “We believe that this — coupled with a focus on research, leadership, information management, communication and innovation — helps make us unique among nursing programs in the country.”

Arthur and Sonia Labatt, long-time donors to health education at Western, opened the building in June with a ribbon-cutting and tour. They were awarded honorary doctorates from Western in 2012 and Arthur Labatt was Western’s chancellor from 2004-08.  Both are well-known philanthropists whose volunteer work includes arts, culture, health care and environmental causes.


This article appeared in the Fall 2017 edition of Alumni Gazette
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