Simpson University to Break Ground on Science and Nursing Center

For Immediate Release


An artist’s rendering of the Science and Nursing Center REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University announced this week that it plans to break ground this spring or summer on a Science and Nursing Center at its northeast Redding campus.

The estimated $5.5 million, 30,000-square-foot, two-story building will include patient simulation zones, clinical skills labs, classrooms and offices, and specialized areas for physics, microbiology, genetics, chemistry, ecology, and anatomy.

Classes would start in the new facility by fall 2014.

“This is a major step forward for the university in terms of advancing our nursing and science programs,” said President Larry McKinney. “It fits clearly with our mission and long-range vision and will help us serve our students more effectively.”

The university’s Board of Trustees approved construction during its October meeting.

“There’s recognition that the nursing program is a vital part of the curricula we offer,” said board chair Betty Dean, former president of Butte College. “It addresses community and student need. We have been pursuing how we might be able to proceed with a facility that would accommodate nursing-program needs.”

Fundraising efforts have raised about $2.5 million, and the university will continue to pursue donations as the building is constructed.

“Our efforts at this point are in seeking support from those who care about the university and nursing and science programs,” Dean said.

Simpson University began expanding its science curriculum in 2007, offering a biology major. In 2007, it launched a step-up program for registered nurses wanting to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing. The RN-BSN Track is a 16-month program offered through the School of Adult Studies.

A group of nursing students pose for a picture where the Science and Nursing Center will be constructedA full four-year BSN began in January 2011 in the traditional undergraduate program. The first class of 20 students will graduate in April. Interest in the program has skyrocketed, with 82 students in the nursing program this year, said Jan Dinkel, dean of Simpson’s School of Nursing.

Pre-nursing students who are accepted into the competitive program spend five semesters engaged in intensive classroom study and clinical rotations in area hospitals and other medical facilities.

Dinkel said she is excited about what the building will mean to nursing education in the north state.

“The building will provide the space necessary to increase the number of students who can be admitted to the BSN program and can pursue higher education locally,” she said. “The space will also allow for the development of other professional healthcare higher-education programs, such as a master’s in nursing.”

The building’s high technological simulation pods will enhance partnership opportunities for clinical agencies in the area and for the university to develop and utilize state-of-the-art clinical simulation for in-service education, she said.

Additionally, the building will help in the university’s pursuit of national CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accreditation.

The new facility will also be a boost to the university’s biology program, which includes almost 40 students this fall.

“The science faculty has waited over 20 years for this building, and we are very pleased with the plans,” said Pam Van der Werff, chair of the Division of Science and Math. “This addition to our campus will allow us to further develop our growing biology program, enabling us to emphasize student-faculty research opportunities and better serve the greater Simpson campus."

Board president Dean said the building represents a unique opportunity for Simpson, which has traditionally been a liberal arts Christian university.

“It’s taking Simpson in a new direction and providing opportunities to consider other areas that might be of significance in meeting student and community needs,” she said.

For more information about the Science and Nursing Center, visit


Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. Simpson's academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson's recent curriculum expansion includes degrees in biology, nursing, outdoor leadership, and a master's degree in counseling psychology. For more information about the university, or to arrange a personalized visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit

Top right: An architectural rendering of the front of the future Science and Nursing Center.

Photo by Jessica Law shows Simpson University's first class of BSN students standing at the future site of the Science and Nursing Center on campus.


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737