AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In the wake of a pandemic that has highlighted the importance of healthcare providers across the country, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is teaming up with Childress Regional Medical Center for an accelerated online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program.
“Students complete the majority of their clinical requirements at Childress under the supervision of our faculty members,” said Meagan Rogers associate nurse for undergraduate nursing at UTA.
Helping facilitate this new partnership and recruit qualified individuals to the program is Dallas-based educational consultant, Academic Partnerships (AP).
The central part of the program is to improve access to care by fostering rural engagement.
“They have individuals currently employed in support positions at Childress who are interested in completing a degree but either can’t afford to relocate or travel extensively in order to complete requirements of a nursing program, which are often in large metropolitan areas,” said Rogers.
The 15-month long curriculum operates online and students complete clinical hours needed on-site at CRMC or within the geographic region.
“It offers an opportunity for our residents to stay in their rural, local community and complete a BSN in nursing, which hasn’t typically been done,” said Sulynn Mester chief nursing officer at CRMC.
Applications for the program are currently open and those interested in applying don’t need a prior degree or license as a pre-requisite.
Texas is among states facing a nursing shortage, which is projected to get worse.
“Approximately one third of our workforce is within 10 to 15 years of retirement,” said Rogers. “We’ve known there’s a nursing shortage and we’re seeing early signs that covid has continued to push individuals out of the profession.”
CRMC is also working on a nurse mentoring program with AHEC for potential High School students wanting to obtain a nursing degree, this will eventually be used to move future student into the BSN program.
The first group of students is set to start this fall.