HSC Nursing & Population Health Building

Project Description

The new College of Nursing and Population Health Building project will plan, design, construct and equip a new facility to accommodate undergraduate enrollment increases for College of Nursing, and College of Population Health and aid in the states healthcare workforce deficit.

The 84,500 gross square foot building will be located at the UNM Health Sciences Albuquerque campus providing new instruction, student support spaces with departmental offices, research spaces to support graduate as well as undergraduate education, and building support space for the growing health education departments.

In order to meet UNM Strategic Initiatives, this building will provide space to accommodate undergraduate enrollment increases for the College of Nursing, and the College of Population Health. In addition, it will support modest increases for graduate programs, faculty positions, and research.

The conjoined Center will provide efficient shared space geared toward collaboration, shared services and the creation of combined degrees to meet workforce demands. The program anticipates 60% of the facility will be shared between the College of Nursing and College of Population Health.

This building will allow for nursing and population health to house everything in one central location instead of spreading throughout campus. It will also free up space in the current nursing and pharmacy building so that pharmacy can consolidate their program in one place.

Temporary lab space for Pharmacy will be created from this project and will accommodate a new BS in pharmaceutical sciences.

Space utilization including classroom utilization was carefully analyzed through UNM's space reservation system and using outside consultants. The Health Science Center does not have sufficient or appropriately sized classrooms for the anticipated enrollment increases for any of these programs.

The new facility will serve the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure)
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
    • Adult-Gerontology ACNP
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Administration
    • Nursing Education
    • Nurse-Midwifery
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s Certificate Program
    • Adult-Gerontology ACNP
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse-Midwifery
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Nurse Executive Organizational Leadership Concentration
    • Clinical Concentration
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Population Health
    • Community Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Health Systems Services & Policy
    • Doctor of Medicine / Master of Public Health

Additional Background

Two doctors holding a attending to a baby and its mother shortly after birth.

The state of New Mexico is currently experiencing a healthcare workforce shortage. This building will allow for program expansion so more healthcare professionals can be adequately trained to work in New Mexico.

Nursing will increase their undergraduate enrollment from 128 to 256 students per year not including HSC-Rio Rancho as well as modest increases in graduate studies. Currently, the nursing program has 300 qualified applicants for the 128 slots a year. This forces them to turn down qualified applicants and makes it difficult to help fulfill the state wide nursing shortage. The creative work and expertise of the College of nursing has been nationally and internationally recognized. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition, CON’s Master of Science of Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice are among the best in the country and top in New Mexico.  CON is ranked in the top schools of nursing in the nation – ranked No. 1 in New Mexico, No. 6 in mountain west region and No. 15 in the southwest. The graduate program in Midwifery has a long tradition of being honored as one of the top programs in the United States, and currently is 11th. Further, this program is a national role model providing cutting edge scholarship for the effective delivery of care to the underserved and minority communities. This building will foster better collaboration among departments leading to more innovative and multi-disciplinary health outcomes

The College of Population Health was founded in 2016. It occupies faculty and staff space in the Family Medicine area of the Family Practice Center (FPC). They have over $3 million in research funding awarded annually, 98% overall graduation rate and 96% average on-time graduation rate. The space is not sufficient for the college or for the research activities. Currently, the College of Population Health has nearly 150 students (92 undergrads and 50 grad students) and has grown its number of students more than 200% since 2016 with continued anticipated growth. Additionally, the CoPH is also working to start a Ph.D. program.

Pharmacy will have an additional wet lab space that will help accommodate the new BS degree in Pharmaceutical Studies. This building will foster better collaboration among these departments leading to more innovative and multi-disciplinary health outcomes.

The building will also help aid in the expansion of the telehealth program (Project Echo), which addresses the shortage of healthcare workers in our rural communities across the state.

The current nursing and pharmacy building is over 40 years old. The building has undergone minor renovations and band-aided repairs. The labs technical, operational and functional aspects are not up to date with today's modern standards and are smaller than needed. This forces both the nursing and pharmacy programs to spread out across campus leading to less collaboration and making operations a challenge. This new nursing and population health building will allow for nursing to be in one place with population health and free up the current building for the pharmacy program, with the intention of undergoing a major renovation on that building in the future.

The priority for this building project was determined by the UNM system wide Capital Planning Leadership Team (CPLT) that was formed by the President. The purpose of the CPLT is to provide ongoing strategic direction related to institutional capital planning and appropriation recommendations. The CPLT presents the annual priorities to the Board of Regents at the annual Budget Summit. The proposed new CON/COPH facility was ranked the number one priority for the UNM Health Sciences.

Without this project, the colleges cannot expand their enrollments and that in turn will impact New Mexico's ability to combat healthcare workforce shortages. Prior to requesting this project, Health Sciences reviewed current space use including classroom utilization. UNM HSC does not have sufficient or appropriately sized classrooms.  Due to space compression challenges, UNM HSC does not have sufficient offices and support spaces either. The program assumed that the classrooms, simulation spaces and labs in the new Health Education Buildings, as well as in other buildings on HSC campus would continue to be used.

Total requested amount: $30,000,000