The healthcare industry continues to be one of the nation's leading employers.

Experts say four million jobs could come to the field by 2026. Binghamton University is hoping to prepare future students to fill those gaps.

The current Decker School of Nursing is set to expand into a college of nursing and health sciences.

"There's a demand for nurses with graduate training who are able to meet a wider variety of healthcare needs and the healthcare system as it's currently constituted has real needs in that area for patient care," said Donald Nieman, Provost, Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

The college will include schools of nursing, rehabilitation and applied health sciences. Programs will range from physical therapy to occupational and speech therapies.

"What this allows us to do is create synergies. The future of healthcare delivery in the United States involves teams of professionals, nurses, pharmacists, doctors," said Nieman.

The new school will be located in a former Endicott Johnson factory in Johnson City.

Staff at Binghamton University chose the location because of its close proximity to several area hospitals and the school of Pharmacy.

"We wanted to be at the center of a major health and hospital system in our region and so we located it approximate to Wilson hospital. Our pharmacy school is here," said Nieman.

The move is expected to bring at least 250 new students to the university.

With thousands of available jobs in our region, the goal is for many of them to stay local following graduation.

"We recruit exceptional students. They loved to be able to employ them and this will offer them access a wider range of really highly educated professionals," said Nieman.

The new facility will include a state-of-the art simulation center, offering training for all types of medical professionals in the region.

Programs are expected to be up and running by next year.