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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Childress Regional Medical Center (CRMC) will partner with the University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) to be a clinical partner site for UTA’s Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (AO BSN) program.
“I am thrilled at the idea of working with the UTA CONHI in such a way as to bring a BSN degree program to our rural community,” said CRMC Chief Nursing Officer SuLynn Mester. “And as exciting as it is for both the University and our Medical Center, the real joy of it all is for the students it will benefit.”
The new program offers prospective nursing students the opportunity to stay in their community and receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the No. 1 public college of nursing in the U.S., based on enrollment and graduate data compiled from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
This new initiative is aimed at addressing Texas’ nursing shortage, specifically in rural communities. The new partnership also aligns with UTA CONHI’s interest in the development of rural health initiatives, while affording CRMC employees and employees at surrounding critical access centers, as well as the greater Texas Panhandle community, access to an affordable and convenient nursing education.
“Because these students can stay in their rural communities while getting their degree, the program will offer life changing opportunities to those who might not otherwise be able to chase their dreams, to get a college degree, to become a nurse,” Mester added. “That warms my heart and motivates me in ways that I cannot even describe.”
Helping facilitate this new partnership and recruit qualified individuals to the program is Academic Partnerships (AP), a leading online facilitator in the U.S. based in Dallas. AP has been a partner to UTA and its nursing programs, which have trained thousands of new nursing graduates in Texas and beyond.
As reported by the American Academy of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Texas is among states facing an impending nursing shortage. According to the 2017-2022 Texas State Health Plan, the shortage may be particularly acute in Texas’ underserved rural areas, where expanded nursing roles in providing care outside of hospitals are needed most – in primary care practices, family clinics and long-term care centers.
“UT Arlington is excited to be able to offer clinical experiences for the BSN program at Childress Regional Medical Center,” said Pam White, UTA AO BSN program manager – remote sites. “We hope our partnership will become a new model of providing nursing education in rural areas where access to baccalaureate level programs may be challenging.”
The UTA AO BSN is a pre-licensure program that offers students these benefits:
- 15-month BSN Program with 51 credit hours of nursing courses.
- Upper-division nursing courses; five to 14 weeks each.
- Didactic coursework is completed online.
- Majority of clinical experiences are expected to take place on-site at clinical partner site, CRMC, or within the geographic region.
“We are pleased with the outpouring of support for the program from the community, the administration and the staff of Childress Regional Medical Center and look forward to working collaboratively with this site for years to come,” White said.
AP Managing Director Becky Berry added, “We couldn’t be prouder of the work Academic Partnerships has done and continues to do with UT Arlington and its College of Nursing and Health Innovation as part of expanding access to its nursing programs. It takes this type of innovation in nursing education and harmonization with healthcare employers to address the nursing shortage.”
For more information on the UTA AO BSN or other nursing programs offered online by the University of Texas at Arlington, visit https://bit.ly/UTA_AOBSN.