INSTITUTE, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia State University (WVSU) will launch a new Bachelor of Science degree in nursing beginning with the fall 2020 semester now that the program has been approved by the West Virginia Nursing Board.
The Board gave their approval at a meeting earlier Friday.
“This is an historic day for West Virginia State University, and we are excited that the West Virginia Nursing Board has approved this request, as this program will fill a critical need in our state and nation for qualified nursing professionals,” said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins.
The new program will offer the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
By 2022, there will be far more nursing jobs available than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new nurses for expansion and replacement of retirees, and to avoid a nursing shortage.
In West Virginia, the majority of the state’s 55 counties are federally designated, either in part or full, as Health Professional Shortage Areas or Medically Underserved Areas. Many rural clinics are operated primarily by nurses and other allied health professionals.
The program is supported by a $500,000 matching grant from the John L. and Maude H. Dickinson Family Fund at the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, announced last fall. The funds will be used to renovate and equip office, classroom and laboratory spaces, and support salaries for nursing faculty and administrative support.
The program has also received support through a $150,000 grant from the Bernard H. and Blanche E. Jacobson Foundation and a $100,000 grant from the Maier Foundation.
The nursing program has already secured clinical sites with Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) and has established partnerships with Thomas Health System, Family Care Health Center, Highland Hospital, Stonerise Healthcare, and West Virginia Health Right.
The nursing degree program had already been approved by the WVSU Board of Governors, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the University’s accrediting body.