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Kansas Wesleyan University

The Salina Regional Health Foundation announced today that it is donating $1.4 million for Kansas Wesleyan University’s project to establish a Nursing Education Center. 

The gift is in addition to a $1 million donation from Salina Regional Health Center, which included $600,000 cash, plus a former physician’s office building valued at $400,000. 

All told, the hospital and its foundation have combined for a total of $2.4 million toward the $4.5 million renovation project. In addition, KWU announced a $1M gift for the project from the Jack and Donna Vanier family in June and a $750,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation last week.

“The Salina Regional Health Foundation’s Board of Trustees made this commitment to Kansas Wesleyan in recognition of the region’s need for nurses,” said Tom Martin, executive director of the Salina Regional Health Foundation. “Our Board has confidence that Kansas Wesleyan will provide a high quality education to train nurses who will serve Salina and north central Kansas.”

“We are grateful for the continuing support of the Salina Regional Health Foundation and hospital leadership,” said KWU President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D. “Their lead gifts have provided tremendous momentum to this project and for our nursing education program.”

Jones Gillam Renz Architects have begun developing plans for the renovation of the building at 135 E. Claflin Avenue. The 13,400-square-foot building will be the first new instructional facility on campus in 50 years. 

Of the last two classes of KWU Nursing Education students, 100% passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and are currently working as nurses in Salina. The Nursing program at KWU was established in January 1988 after the Asbury Hospital program was moved to the university. 

The Department of Nursing Education initiated an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1989, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program in 1990. In 2017, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree was converted to a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing degree so that new curriculum ideas could be implemented. KWU also offers an online RN to BS Nursing degree program for students who are licensed RNs wanting to pursue a bachelor’s degree.The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.