A: Did you first discuss this with your architect? Or did you first discuss this with your state agency that licenses nursing homes? You need to do that to make sure what you install is compliant with codes and standards.
I cannot answer your question because I do not know what your construction type is, how many stories you have, and whether or not you are fully protected with sprinklers. Is this wall going to be load bearing or non-load bearing?
According to section 18.104.22.168 of the 2012 Life Safety Code, it says interior nonbearing walls required to have a minimum two-hour fire resistance rating shall be permitted to be of fire-retardant-treated wood enclosed within noncombustible or limited-combustible materials, provided that such walls are not used as shaft enclosures. Is the wall going to be fire-rated to a minimum of two-hour rating?
Before you let this contractor begin, you really need to contact your architect and have him/her design the proper wall assembly, and then have it approved by your state and/or local authorities.
Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.