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BCBSMT Commits $150,000 to Montana Tech for Future Nursing Simulation Center

BUTTE – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) has invested $150,000 in Montana Tech to provide operational support for the school’s expanding nursing department.

Montana Tech recently announced the construction of a 4,752-square-foot Nursing Simulation Center in the heart of the Butte campus. Design and construction are expected to begin later this year and officials hope to open the center in 2021. BCBSMT’s donation will be distributed in sums of $50,000 for three years to support strategic programming at the new facility.

“I want to express my appreciation to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana for its generous support of the Nursing Simulation Center,” said Karen VanDaveer, interim dean of the college of letters, Sciences and Professional Studies at Montana Tech. “BCSBMT’s donation means so much, not only to Montana Technological University, but to the nursing students you are helping.”

With improved technology, certified simulation nurse educators and technicians, and high-fidelity mannequins, students will be exposed to high-risk scenarios and given opportunities to make real-life decisions in a controlled and safe environment. School officials are confident the use of this center will result in improved health care and safety, and the reduction of human error. Montana Tech also has plans to provide outreach to clinical partners throughout the region.

Current simulation spaces in the Health Sciences Building will be converted to larger classrooms, accommodating larger cohort sizes.

To provide more opportunity and help meet the demand for high quality, professional nurses, the program will admit an additional 10 students each semester beginning in fall 2020. The increase allows a more significant number of qualified applicants to be accepted into nursing education. Once fully implemented, capacity in the program will increase by 50%.

A professor monitors a Montana Tech nursing student in the existing simulation lab. (PHOTO BY MONTANA TECH)

“Nurses play an integral role in delivering high-quality, compassionate care across Montana,” said John Doran, divisional vice president of external affairs at BCBSMT. “In an ever-changing and dynamic health care industry, we need more highly trained nurses now more than ever. We applaud Montana Tech for its ambitious plan and we are pleased to partner with Tech to bring the nursing simulation center to life.”

Montana Tech’s Nursing Program began preparing Registered Nurses in 2001. In 2003, the program began offering an RN-BSN completion program and in 2016, transitioned to a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree. With 200 enrolled students, Nursing is the largest program on Tech’s campus and is positioned to help meet the need for front-line care providers in and outside of Montana. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing, Tech’s faculty have helped the program lead the state in nursing education. Tech students achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam for the first quarter of 2020, which exceeds the Montana average of 90.22% and a national average of 89.52%.

Learn more about the nursing program at Montana Tech.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for 80 years. BCBSMT’s purpose is to stand with its members in sickness and in health.

About Montana Technological University
Montana Technological University is a special focus university located in Butte. The university offers certificate programs, associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees along with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and a newly approved Ph.D. in Earth Science & Engineering. Montana Tech is home to the top nursing school in Montana. The university specializes in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and healthcare disciplines and has repeatedly been recognized among the top universities in America.

Media Contacts

John Doran
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
DVP of External Affairs

Amanda Badovinac
Montana Technological University
Executive Director Marketing and Communications

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association