McKINNEY -- Health care industry experts predict by 2016, there will be a nationwide shortage of 71,000 nurses and 39,000 family doctors.

Collin College administrators are planning to address that critical shortage here in North Texas. They're going to build a new state-of-the-art health sciences building in McKinney.

The college has a waiting list for its nursing program. With limited space, there are only so many spaces for students.

'With nursing, there are a lot more students who are qualified to get in the program,' said Dr. Colleen Smith, a college senior vice president. 'We just can't accept them because we don't have the space.'

Nursing students, like Arlene Ramsaran, had a hard time getting into the program.

'It was very competitive to get in,' Ramsaran said, 'and I bet there are a lot of people out there who would like to be in this program.'

College administrators decided it's time for the program to grow. Construction will start in April to build a new 125,000-square-foot health sciences building. It's designed to produce more nurses and health care professionals.

'We don't have any more room,' Dr. Smith said. 'So, in order to be able to do that to meet the needs of our community and our state, we need more room.'

Nursing student Priscilla Kissaru called the project a great idea that is desperately needed.

'I would love to see more people to join the program so we can train more nurses, because we definitely need more nurses,' she said.

Administrators say with baby boomers aging, the need for health care providers is growing. They're hoping by fall of 2015, they can make at least make a dent in the local shortage.


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