SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2004)
BSN Nursing Degree for SUU approved
Thursday, December 11th the Board of Regents approved a new BSN program at Southern Utah University, capping a 14 month effort to bring the nursing program fully under SUU’s direction. For nearly 30 years students participating in nursing studies were enrolled in a cooperative venture with Weber State University. This new approval upgrades the nursing program from a two year or a four year program to a BSN program enhancing the opportunities of those who complete their degree at SUU. Additionally, the funding that was allocated to Weber State for the program on our campus will be shifted to SUU allowing for a smooth transition to the upgraded program. This means that students currently enrolled will be able to complete their current course of study either the two year, or the two plus two year program, and the university will inaugurate the new, traditional BSN program in 2005.
With this new program come other benefits to our students and the community as well. Instead of 24 students being enrolled each year in the fall, the goal is to expand the number of students to 40 each year admitting 20 in the fall and 20 in the spring—nearly doubling the current program.
Donna Lister, Coordinator of the SUU/WSU Cooperative Nursing Program said she is thrilled with the new program. “It offers so much more for our students and gives them much more flexibility as they design their programs of study. The students now have the opportunity, if they wish, to make more efficient use of their time while in the program, enabling them to complete their degree within four years.” She also stated, “Now we will have the opportunity to raise our own scholarship dollars to enhance our programs, including having the ability to hire more faculty.”
President Bennion expressed his appreciation to all who have worked so hard on the effort, noting that this was a united effort of many individuals in several groups, including the SUU Board of Trustees who worked tirelessly in the cause; many members of the Board of Regents including very strong support from David Grant and Jerry Atkin from southern Utah; Provost Abe Harraf, Dean Harold Ornes; southern Utah legislators have lent united and effective leadership in our behalf; and the new Commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, Dr. Richard E. Kendell. Citing the timeliness of the decision in that the nation is currently experiencing a shortage in nurses, he said, “SUU has a long and impressive history of successfully preparing students for careers in the health professions, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, nursing and more.” He added “This program is a perfect fit with that institutional legacy.”