New facility gives new options to St. Landry nursing students
Space renovated by Lafayette General Health for the nursing and surgical technology programs at LSU Eunice will help students take fuller advantage of St. Landry’s growth as a regional medical center.
The $400,000 renovation of 7,700 square feet on the first floor of the Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital's Medical Office Building established laboratory space for both LSU-E's nursing and surgical technology programs, classroom space, a computer lab, faculty offices, and a student lounge.
The space, and the programs that will be provided through it, are a major and important step in efforts to provide St. Landry students interested in health-related careers the skills for rewarding careers in an area where demand — and compensation — is growing. Programs are now offered at practically every level.
A St. Landry Parish student can get an introduction to those opportunities through the nationally recognized Magnet Academy of Biomedical Sciences at Opelousas or through courses at St. Landry technical and career campuses, continue through nursing and allied health programs at the T.H. Harris campus of South Louisiana Community College or LSU-E, bring those skills and credits to four-year institutions for further training, or earn certification that will allow them to go directly into the workforce.
Dr. F. King Alexander, president of LSU, joined LSU-E and Lafayette General Health administrators in formally opening the newly renovated classroom and clinical laboratory space at Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital. The joint effort, he said, is as an opportunity to show “the rest of the state what can be done by working with our universities and so many of our talented students keeping them right here in the area.”
Patrick W. Gandy Jr., executive vice president of LGH and chief executive officer of Lafayette General Medical Center, noted that this affiliation with LSU Eunice “creates a proactive opportunity to fulfill the dire need for nurses locally and statewide, and it is a natural extension of the partnership that began decades ago.”
“I am proud that we continue to work together to prepare highly-skilled and compassionate caregivers,” Gandy said.
LSU-E teaches nursing clinical courses and surgical technology courses at the location. Fifteen nursing candidates in the first class to use the Lafayette facility graduated in December and the first surgical technology class will graduate this May.
The school offers associate degrees, certificates, and transfer programs including nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, respiratory care, radiologic technology, and surgical technology. Its nursing program currently graduates 60 to 80 students a year. The Lafayette location is expected to also graduate up to 80 registered nurses within the next three years.
St Landry Economic Development Director, and LSUE Board of Advisor Member, Bill Rodier, noted how this project personifies the increasingly proactive path for the LSUE in the way they provide value to the business community. Rodier said that it will take these kinds of creative and collaborative, public private partnerships to address critical workforce shortages by some of our key industry sectors throughout the region.
LSU-E administrators characterized the expansion as “a big deal… necessary to meet the industry’s needs.” With this new facility, the school can now offer two choices for its nursing program each year. Students studying on the Eunice campus are selected in the spring semester and start in August. Selection for the Lafayette site is held in the fall semester, and classes begin in January.
Three things to know about this story:
- The $400,000 renovation at the Lafayette General Orthopedic Hospital's Medical Office Building established laboratory space for LSU-E's nursing and surgical technology programs.
- The space, and the programs that will be provided through it, are a major and important step in efforts to provide St. Landry students interested in health-related careers the skills for rewarding careers
- With this new facility, the school can now offer two choices for its nursing program each year.
Lafayette, LA 70503