This story is a staff report from The Paper.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday joined officials from the University of New Mexico to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art College of Nursing and Public Health Excellence Building, as well as announcing $15 million in Nurse Expansion funding to help improve New Mexico’s nurse training and education programs.

The building is being made possible through $32.5 million in state funding secured by MLG, including $30 million in General Obligation bonds and $2.5 million in General Fund monies. The total cost of the project is estimated at $43.3 million.

The building will consolidate teaching spaces now spread throughout seven buildings, making school days easier on students and faculty.  

“New Mexico, like the rest of the country, is faced with a critical shortage of nurses,” said the gov. “By investing in the state’s largest nursing program and providing additional resources to programs around New Mexico, we are going to see real progress toward meeting our goal of a healthy nursing workforce.”  

“The University of New Mexico shares the vision of our state’s executive and legislative leaders as we seek to improve health care access and community well-being for all New Mexicans,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes. “The UNM College of Nursing and Public Health Excellence Building will be dedicated to the expanded education and training of health professionals in service to New Mexicans while serving as a bold step to Advance New Mexico, a highest-priority goal for our UNM 2040 strategic plan.”

“UNM Health and Health Sciences sincerely appreciates the support of the Governor and our legislative leaders to enhance New Mexico’s education and training of health professionals in nursing and public health,” said Dr. Douglas Ziedonis, UNM Health Sciences Executive VP and UNM Health System CEO.

The governor also announced Monday that $15 million in “Nurse Expansion” funding is being disbursed to higher education institutions around the state.