In the midst of a nationwide shortage of nurses, Abilene Christian University is starting their own nursing program.
Previously, ACU partnered with McMurry and Hardin-Simmons universities to offer a nursing program through the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing on the Hendrick Medical Center campus.
ACU Provost Dr. Robert Rhodes, ACU President Dr. Phil Schubert and Dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Becky Hammack presented the proposal to the Texas Board of Nursing on January 17. The proposal was approved on the contingency that ACU will have the nursing labs and facilities in place by July for the board’s visit.
Hammack said the change will keep students active in ACU student life.
“The administration and the alumni thought that it would be a good idea for our students that come to ACU that want to be part of the university for all four years would have that opportunity,” Hammack said. “So that was part of the reason that we decided to pull out and come to ACU and have it on campus.”
Nursing students recently accepted into the program said they are grateful they do not have to leave the ACU campus to pursue their dream.
“I think they really did it to keep us involved in campus and I really love ACU community and the support we have here so it's going to be really good to still go to chapel,” Sophomore Angela Salvatore said.
Sophomore Mathew Molina said the new program is what made him decide to attend ACU.
“We won't be so disconnected from what's going on, on campus or just like normal student life that we wouldn't be able to be a part of if we were somewhere else,” Sophomore Meghann Mcleskey said.
The program is no longer accepting applications for the fall, but administrators said 50 students will be admitted. Administrators plan to admit 50 more students in the fall of 2014.
After the program attains an 80 percent successful completion rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, the school will be allowed to admit up to 80 students per year.
The facilities will be located inside the Zona Luce building.