Rockhurst’s renovations in Sedgwick Hall receive widespread approval by nursing students

Alex Zoellner, Editor

This past fall semester marked the long-awaited opening of Rockhurst’s remodeled Sedgwick Hall for the university’s Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences students. The students have been able to utilize the building for a full school year now, and they certainly have not been disappointed.

Back in 2019, Rockhurst joined forces with Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, allowing the Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences to officially become part of the university. The combination of these two reputable learning institutions was expected to help provide more well-educated health care professionals to the area as the demand continues to increase. However, until Sedgwick was reopened this fall, no classes in the college were held at Rockhurst, but instead at Saint Luke’s College building at 624 Westport Road.

While the Westport campus was adequate, students’ overall college experience has improved since classes have transferred over to Rockhurst. The university invested over $23 million dollars into this project in order to provide students with state-of-the-art resources that will prepare them for their future careers.

Looking past the aesthetic glass paneled modern exterior, there is 55,000 square feet of space featuring updated classrooms and offices, common areas with flexible seating where all students can study, an interfaith meditation room and different conference rooms. But the part most popular among nursing students is the real-life simulation rooms. These rooms are designed to imitate actual patient care situations where students can practice exams and procedures in different settings that they will do in the hospital one day.

“I would say everything in Sedgwick is all up to date, new and realistic to what’s in hospitals right now,” junior nursing student Zoie Vahabzadeh said, “I feel like we will know more about what we are doing when we graduate which is really important.”

The Westport campus had similar resources, however, the biggest difference between the two is that everything at Sedgwick has top of the line updated technology that the other campus did not provide. In addition, Rockhurst’s renovations increased the amount of space available for students, making it a more comfortable learning environment.

“Westport was a lot smaller and only had one or two simulations,” junior nursing student Maddie Reed said, “The rooms were tiny and it just felt crammed.”

Besides the refined learning opportunities, having the nursing program on Rockhurst’s campus has opened the way for those students to feel a better sense of community with the school. Nursing students were previously separated from all students of other majors, so being on campus has made it easier to make friends and meet a variety of people. Being at Rockhurst also allowed students to be more aware of and participate in campus organizations and events. Whether it is through a new connection, tabling in Massman Hall, seeing flyers and advertisements around school or just seeing an event taking place, Sedgwick has given nursing students the opportunity to get involved.

“Just last week after class I saw some of my nursing classmates do SAE’s ‘Ketchup and Mustard a Brother’ fundraiser in the quad,” Reed said, “It was cool because they probably wouldn’t have been able to do this if we were still on the Westport campus.”

In addition, spending more time at Rockhurst gave nursing students easier access to all the on-campus amenities that come along with paying tuition. For example, being on campus makes things like using meal plans, working out in the MAC, going to Einstein’s and studying in the library all more easily accessible. These and various other resources are part of being a Rockhurst student, and having classes in Sedgwick Hall has made it possible for more people to utilize them.

“There was a huge disconnect being on the other campus,” Vahabzadeh said, “Some people didn’t even know what the MAC was.”

While the renovated Sedgwick Hall has only been in full swing for one full school year, it has already been a success. Students are grateful for all the university has provided them and look forward to using their education to make a difference in the world.

“The university renovating Sedgwick for the nursing program really makes you feel appreciated for the hard work you’re doing to try to help others,” Reed said, “It’s nice knowing that they want us here, they want us to learn and are they providing us with really good resources because when we go out in the world, we have to save people’s lives.”


Photos by Grayce Teague