Board of Regents Approves Nursing Expansion to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex

The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents today (May 17) approved the establishment of a Web-based Second Degree Baccalaureate Nursing Degree Program for students in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Regents recommend submission by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Nursing and the TTUHSC senior vice president for academic affairs to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges seeking approval for the program.

The Second Degree Program is designed for students with a previous college degree. The accelerated 12-month program includes coach and nurse educator oversight in the student’s own communities in Abilene, Lubbock, Austin, El Paso, the Permian Basin, Amarillo and now the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. With the support of Texas Health Resources (THR), students in the new Dallas/Fort Worth program will gain on-site clinical experience among the 25 THR hospitals.

“A critical nursing shortage exists throughout the State of Texas and is projected to worsen over the next 10 to 15 years as large numbers of nurses retire and the demand for nursing services grows,” said School of Nursing Dean Michael L. Evans, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN. “The TTUHSC School of Nursing is committed to addressing this shortage through creative educational models and community partnerships, like the one with Texas Health Resources.”

Accelerated programs, like the School of Nursing’s Second Degree Program, offer the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for people who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have set a goal for 80 percent of the nation’s nurses to earn their bachelor’s degrees in nursing by 2020 to provide safe, quality, patient-centered, accessible and affordable care in the 21st century. Currently the national average of bachelor’s-prepared nurses is 50 percent. Texas stands below that average at 37 percent.

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