Amid a persistent nursing shortage, Research College of Nursing and the Kansas City area’s second-biggest private-sector employer announced a plan to construct a new 78,000-square-foot building to increase the college’s enrollment capacity.

Overland Park-based HCA Midwest Health will invest $34.5 million in the project, which will be built adjacent to Research Medical Center — the health system’s largest hospital and the region’s fourth largest by admissions — and across the street from the college.

According to a Tuesday release, the proposed facility will house a new Center for Clinical Advancement, a state-of-the-art patient simulation laboratory and a number of technologically advanced classrooms.

“HCA Midwest Health is proud of Research College of Nursing’s 118-year history as one of the region’s most highly regarded nursing colleges,” HCA Midwest Health President Keith Zimmerman said in the release.

“This investment is especially meaningful as not only will we help address the national nursing shortage, but we are also providing new access to education for those who dream of making a positive impact on people’s lives during their most vulnerable times.”

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