• Education
  • On the Boards: Montana State University, Nursing Education Facilities
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Billings, MT
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Bozeman, MT
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Great Falls, MT
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Kalispell, MT
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Missoula, MT

On the Boards: Montana State University, Nursing Education Facilities

With the goal of providing the very best in comprehensive nursing education to meet the growing need for nurses across the state of Montana and beyond, Montana State University (MSU) embarked on a project to develop state-of-the-art learning facilities in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula. The partnership of Cushing Terrell and CO Architects was chosen as the design lead for all five projects with local contractors — Langlas & Associates (Billings), Martel Construction (Bozeman), Sletten Construction (Great Falls), Swank Construction (Kalispell), and Jackson Construction (Missoula) — serving as the construction leads for each respective project.

These new buildings will provide students with a better learning experience and allow us to enroll more students to help meet the nursing shortage in Montana.

Sarah E. Shannon, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Dean, MSU Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing

Designed specifically for the education of nursing professionals, each building will feature multiple classrooms, cutting-edge simulation laboratories and research space, study areas for students who spend many hours of their days on campus, and landscaped areas with walking paths and greenspace to support the ability to take breaks from the classroom and enjoy the outdoors.

The guiding principles for the design included:

  • Emphasize a feeling of one college across the five locations
  • Reinforce the connection to the university and its land-grant mission
  • Express an inclusive, family-like culture and community
  • Promote occupant health and well-being
  • Craft flexible and adaptable learning spaces
  • Anticipate growth, curricular evolution, and technological advancements
  • Commit to building performance and holistic sustainable design

The design team’s approach to programming was guided by innovation, integration, and performance with solutions emerging as a natural outcome of the interactive process with MSU, healthcare providers, and the entire project team. The overarching design concept was intended to create a cohesive visual and formal language that identifies each building as part of the MSU Jones College of Nursing, while at the same time, endowing each building with its own regional expression in terms of form, color, and façade pattern.

(Example concepts for the Billings, Kalispell, and Missoula locations are shown below.)




The design across all five locations is inspired and unified by Montana’s dramatic landscapes, which have resulted from the geological process of carving, eroding, folding, and shearing. The buildings showcase clean lines, simplicity, and functionality and are designed to be efficient and accessible, allowing for smooth circulation and ease of movement. Consistent across all locations, the architecture is expressed with an outer shell that figuratively and literally protects and provides shelter to students, faculty, and its building occupants.

Consistent with Montana High Performance Building Standards, the team is pursuing LEED Silver certification for all the buildings, having carefully evaluated how to balance the costs of incorporating smart, sustainable strategies that are the most appropriate and impactful for each site with the highest value for MSU and its students.

The nursing education facilities will be leveraged to create new opportunities and expand existing offerings, aligning with current needs and future projections for quality nursing services. The project schedule goal is for all locations to be complete by the fall of 2026.

The MSU Jones College of Nursing project was made possible by a $101-million investment by Montana business owners, Mark and Robyn Jones, who’ve seen the healthcare challenges people in Montana face and wanted to make a difference. Their intent with the donation is to help address the lack of availability and access to care, specifically for residents in rural communities. The donation will:

  • Provide funding for the five new facilities on each of MSU College of Nursing’s locations, equipped with modern classrooms and state-of-the-art simulation labs.
  • Establish five endowed faculty professorships, the first in the history of MSU.
  • Develop an endowed scholarship fund that will allow the MSU College of Nursing to keep the cost of nursing education affordable for all students.
  • Create Montana’s only certified nurse midwifery program preparing doctoral-level nurses, significantly increasing the number of specialized maternal healthcare providers capable of providing services to rural and remote communities in Montana.

Billings, MT
Bozeman, MT
Great Falls, MT
Kalispell, MT
Missoula, MT

Building Commissioning
Building Enclosure Design
Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Fire Protection Design
Graphic/Signage Design
Green Building Certifications
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Mechanical Engineering
Planning and Programming
Structural Engineering
Sustainability Services

Montana State University (March 25, 2024)
Daily Montanan (March 28, 2024)
7 KBZK Bozeman (April 11, 2024)