Fort Scott Community College is currently discussing with Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas about acquiring the building at 8th and Horton Streets for the future nursing department of the school.
“As with any acquisition, the details must be worked through and it definitely does not happen quickly,” Adam Borth, FSCC Vice President of Academic Affairs said. “I believe our goal at this time is to be moved and have the facility operational for the spring 2024 semester.”
“For the building purchase, our plan is to utilize a 10 year lease-purchase agreement with CHC, operating within the current budget,” Borth said. “We have funds graciously donated to FSCC from the Snyder family for the nursing program. We will utilize those private donor funds to complete the remodel and upgrades. Our plan at this point is utilize the FSCC maintenance department to complete the majority of the remodel.”
The current building located at 8th and Burke Streets “is a very solidly built facility, however, it is has many upgrades needed,” Borth said.
An example, he said is the heating/air conditioning system that needs a complete overhaul. “Bid estimates a couple years ago all came in near seven figures, if not over.”
FSCC’s accrediting body, “which ensures we are in compliance with nursing standards has also pointed out that a facility upgrade is needed,” he said.
“The new facility would also give FSCC nursing students the opportunity to receive education in a facility that is conducive to learning and provide an excellent experience we strive for and the students deserve,” he said.
The Current Program
“Our nursing program right now sets around 40-50 admitted students, with many more in pre-nursing (working to meet the requirements to receive admission to the program)” Borth said.
The COVID 19 Pandemic affected the program.
“Our enrollment decreased, as expected, after spring 2020,” he said. “The profession has seen a shift since then as well, with many getting out of the healthcare field. This has exacerbated the impact on the shortage of instructors for us and other nursing programs.”
“Because of the shortage of practicing nurses, the pay in the field far exceeds what institutions can offer for instructors,” Borth said. “It creates a difficult environment for recruiting qualified applicants, who also must possess a master’s degree within six years of being hired.”
There is a benefit for those that do choose higher education.
Those working in higher education, such as nursing instructors at the college level, have a more “appealing…work-life balance,” he said.