CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing and UC Health are partnering to develop an "open workspace of the future” in the College of Nursing’s Procter Hall on UC’s medical campus.
The open workspace—nearly 7,200 square feet to be renovated on the college’s second floor—is supported by $1.2 million over two years from UC Health. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2014 and the university will soon begin the process for selecting an architect.
Once complete, the space is expected to be home to approximately three dozen current UC faculty and staff, with another dozen open meeting areas and "touchdown” spots. Technology will be embedded throughout to allow for greater mobility across the space.
The open workspace will serve as a meeting place for UC and UC Health thought leaders to gather and plan for educational preparation of nursing students; a think tank for the development of future models of professional practice; and a training location for the ever-expanding use of technology in health care.
"The UC College of Nursing is on the cutting edge of technology and innovation and UC Health is committed to being a part of the future of collaborative nursing education and research in Cincinnati,” says James Kingsbury, president and CEO of UC Health.
Last spring, UC College of Nursing Dean Greer Glazer, PhD, was invited to a think tank of nursing college deans to brainstorm about the academic workspace of the future and how design could improve multi- and interdisciplinary team work.
"We all could agree that simulation labs, like the one we have in the College of Nursing, are the right way to go with regard to clinical training, but no one really had a plan for how to address other spaces important for faculty, staff and students.”
Following participation in the think tank with deans, Glazer and the College of Nursing went on to develop concepts specific to their own space.
"We’ve built into our college’s vision that we will creatively leverage technology to lead the transformation of health care,” says Glazer. "By transforming the space in which we work, we can be more flexible and mobile, respond quickly to workplace needs and, ultimately, optimize productivity and effectiveness.”
Glazer also expects the new space—with built in "living” and gathering spaces and more natural light—to improve employee satisfaction and health and wellbeing.
"We know that work is becoming an organic activity where productivity and focus of work is no longer specific to a location,” says Kingsbury. "By removing the barriers created by traditional offices and replacing them with open, collaborative space, we expect the College of Nursing and UC Health will be able to work together to break down traditional silos and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.”