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Thursday, June 13, 2024

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Receives $15 Million Investment For Nursing Building


Pine Bluff, AR —The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) nursing program will receive a $15 million investment to construct a new academic building as part of a major legislative package championed by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

“I’m proud to deliver investments to Arkansas that support growth and development as well as improve the quality of life for Natural State residents,” Boozman said.

“Enhancing UAPB’s ability to provide medical training opportunities will benefit students and help address the shortage of healthcare providers in communities across our state. I look forward to seeing how a new, technologically advanced facility will serve nursing students and faculty who will, in turn, serve the needs of Arkansas for years to come.”

UAPB Nursing students work in small groups in the UAPB Nursing Department's simulation lab. #uapb
UAPB Nursing students work in small groups in the UAPB Nursing Department’s simulation lab.

According to UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander, the funding represents a major investment that will improve our educational facilities and equipment for preparing future generations of nurses and addressing the healthcare workforce needs.

“This facility will be a game changer for UAPB,” Alexander said. “The funds will enable us to build a technologically advanced nursing school facility that will strengthen the university’s role in addressing the nursing shortage and developing and growing the health care workforce across our state. On behalf of UAPB, I would like to express our gratitude to Senator Boozman for his commitment to our institution and to this region of the state.”

UAPB offers two program tracks: a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and a registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (R.N. to BSN) program for nurses who are already licensed. UAPB Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Andrea Stewart, added that “this investment to construct a new technologically advanced facility will enhance the foundation of the nursing pre-licensure baccalaureate program. Additionally, plans are underway to develop and establish new quality health care programs.”

Dr. Brenda Jacobs, Chair of the UAPB Nursing Department, applauded the funding as a key milestone in her plans to strengthen the program. According to Jacobs, the new funding allows UAPB to build upon prior successes, “There is no doubt that this will allow us to significantly enhance our program and recruit a new generation of talented nursing students.”

The legislation was signed into law on March 23, 2024, as part of funding for health care resources and education, national security, government oversight, and community investments secured for projects across Arkansas.

Alexander said an investment of this magnitude will significantly aid UAPB’s goal of elevating nursing to one of its distinctive signature programs.

“The great impact of this investment will be felt by the state for many years to come. Such a facility will attract quality students, faculty, and staff and enhance the overall quality of the student experience in the new learning environment,” Alexander said.


The Congressional funds follow a major gift of $1.1 million that the nursing program received in late 2022 from CHI St. Vincent, a leading regional health network serving Central and Southwest Arkansas, for faculty development, student support, and a variety of other program enhancements.

UAPB Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement George Cotton pointed to the future as he assessed the award’s impact.

“This level of funding allows UAPB to build a strong case for increased funding in Nursing and STEM. In many ways, this award serves as a catalyst that will attract even greater resources to this great institution.” Cotton stated.

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