Missouri State’s nursing program is expanding to help prepare more nurses to fill local jobs, something identified as a pressing need even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university’s nursing program is frequently at capacity with a waiting list.
Contributions from the McQueary family and others along with nearly $3 million from the MoExcels Workforce Initiative will make it possible for MSU and the Ozarks Technical Community College to expand their health care programs.
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“Our nursing graduates fill a vital need in hospitals, clinics and communities,” said MSU President Clif Smart in a news release. “We are incredibly proud of how they choose to live out the public affairs mission, and we are grateful to be able to expand the university’s reach in this way.”
Gov. Mike Parson and others were on the MSU campus Dec. 17 to dedicate an addition to the McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State, a facility that will provide more space for nursing programs.
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The MoExcels Workforce Initiative will fund the necessary faculty and staff positions to prepare more health care professionals. With the funding and the space in the addition, the university will do the following:
- Double the pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (over the period of several years) from 72 students to 144;
- Develop an accelerated BSN track with a target enrollment of 24 students;
- Expand the BSN completion program to eventually grow from 29 students to 240 annually;
- Develop a nurse educator track for the Master of Science in Nursing program, with an initial target enrollment of 30 students;
- Develop an advising and study center for nursing students at OTC and an alternative Associate of Science in Nursing cohort option;
- Develop a pathway for students to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing at OTC and then pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at MSU.
“There are so many avenues for students pursuing a career in nursing,” Smart said, in the release. “We have always had success in graduating students who are prepared for this demanding career, and now we will be able to help even more as they join or enhance their training in the workforce.”