Health Information Exchange Featured Article

June 13, 2012

Long Beach City College Working to Upgrade 50-Year-Old Nursing Building for Today's Technology

How do you prepare students for and care for patients in a building erected almost 50 years ago, especially when wireless and digital were just words in the dictionary back then? That’s something Long Beach City College (LBCC) had to think about when considering modernization of its nursing and health technology building.

LBCC decided to work with the Long Beach City College District team, user group and bond management team BCA Architects to update the health center. So far, the programming and schematic design phases of the project have been completed.

More than 23,000 square feet of the building will be brought up to date to create a nursing school commensurate with the 21st century, according to school officials. Architects and workers plan to maximize the use of the existing spaces, designed for the specific needs of the nursing and health technology program and the college district.

BCA Architects are reportedly now working on converting all existing enclosed areas to support the new functional needs of the department.

"BCA is enjoying our partnership with the Long Beach City College and their bond management team to assist in the modernization and expansion of this exciting and progressive program,” said Paul Bunton, AIA, president of BCA Architects. “The students of LBCC will be learning in one of the most state-of-the-art nursing and health technology facilities in the State."

California is not the only state looking into this. In Oregon, where there’s currently a nursing shortage, the state went ahead and surveyed its schools to see what was needed in terms of technology and adding it to or upgrading services at nursing schools. Officials found that all 23 programs in 2003, when the study was done, had added Web-based services to their traditional face-to-face courses. Nine programs offered online courses, and seven used videoconferencing in nursing education, while three programs used high-fidelity clinical simulation and virtual reality in clinical education.

You can’t run these kinds of education offerings without a building modern enough to house them, and the technology they need. 

Even schools are meeting nurses’ needs for information. “School nurses need fast access to information for individual health care plans – faster than books can provide,” explained Susan Smith, RN, BSN, MA, school nurse at the Shawnee (Kansas) Mission School District, in a story at

 In an effort to meet these needs, Smith augments the paper-based information that she uses with the Internet.   

But first, schools must be set up with the technology to deliver this information.

Even more important, access to this kind of information is vital for healthcare providers today, and a building from 1969, as LBCC’s is,  probably doesn’t even have enough electrical outlets! 

But it’s coming. The renovation of the nursing and health technology building project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

Edited by Braden Becker