WGU Expanding Nursing Prelicensure Program: Announces New State-of-the-Art Nursing Simulation Lab in Missouri

The American Nurses Association estimates 1.2 million new nurses needed by 2030; WGU aims to advance health equity through quality nursing education and add more than 4,800 newly qualified nursing graduates to workforce by 2027

KANSAS CITY, MO — Western Governors University (WGU) is opening an 18,000-square-foot nursing prelicensure simulation lab in Kansas City, Missouri. The new facility is designed for students seeking their first baccalaureate degree who want to prepare for a career in nursing while earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.).

“Thanks to the financial support from the Missouri General Assembly — and support from local leaders like the Platte County Economic Development, Missouri Partnership, Kansas City Area Development Council, and all of our Missouri and local Kansas City partners — WGU is advancing health equity through quality nursing education and removing barriers that prevent access to nursing degrees,” said said Janelle Sokolowich, WGU Academic Vice President and Dean, Leavitt School of Health. “We are growing the pipeline of well-qualified nurses ready to join the workforce in the Show Me State. We’ve designed the program so that there are no prerequisite courses for program admission, opening doors for many first-time students here in Missouri and the surrounding area.”

In Missouri, WGU expects to train and graduate more than 1,000 nurses by 2026. WGU’s Kansas City lab features state-of-the-art hospital equipment, 17 patient beds in five simulation rooms, and four patient exam rooms. The location also includes two skills labs, five student-focused debriefing rooms, and a large multipurpose room for training and teaching.

“We are proud that WGU has selected Platte County, the fastest-growing county in the state of Missouri, to expand their nursing prelicensure program with the announcement of the new simulation lab,” said Tina Chace, Executive Director of Platte County Economic Development Council. “There is significant demand for healthcare professionals, both nationally and regionally here in the Kansas City metro. We are confident that WGU’s efforts to attract and train nursing students will help to address that shortage and build a strong workforce pipeline.”

“Missouri takes pride in its leadership in healthcare innovation and remains committed to nurturing a highly skilled workforce for the ever-growing demand in all industries,” said Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership. “WGU’s distinctive training method for aspiring nurses will play a vital role in addressing the national nursing shortage, and we are proud Missouri is a part of it.”

The lab in Kansas City will open in late 2023 and is part of WGU’s Michael O. Leavitt School of Health’s (LSH) investment and expansion of the nation’s leading nursing prelicensure program. Nationwide, WGU plans to open nursing prelicensure simulation labs across 11 states, adding capacity to train more than 4,800 nursing graduates to the workforce by 2027. Click here to learn more about LSH’s growing prelicensure program, including the paced completion time, tuition, and the weekly hours expected to spend on studies, assessments and in the completion of clinical rotations and simulation labs.

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 145,000 students nationwide and has more than 322,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In less than 30 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News and CNN and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu and wgu.edu/impact

About Missouri Partnership

Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development organization focused on attracting new jobs and investment to the state and promoting Missouri’s business strengths. Since 2008, Missouri Partnership has worked with partners statewide to attract companies that have created 32,500+ new jobs, $1.6 billion+ in new annual payroll, and $6.2 billion+ in new capital investment. Some recent successful projects that led to major investment in Missouri include Accenture Federal Services LLC, American Foods Group, Casey’s, Chewy, Inc., James Hardie, Meta, Swift Prepared Foods, URBN, USDA, and Veterans United.

Media Contact: Janelle Higgins | janelle@missouripartnership.com