Even before COVID-19 struck the region, health care systems were in crisis. Hospitals and clinics cited needs for more nurses and staff.
And the Missouri State University nursing program was at capacity semester after semester.
Thanks to contributions from the McQueary family and others along with nearly $3 million from the MoExcels Workforce Initiative, MSU and Ozarks Technical Community College are expanding their health care programs.
The McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State celebrated an addition to the McQueary Health Sciences Hall today (Dec. 17). Gov. Mike Parson was present at the facility dedication ceremony.
“Our nursing graduates fill a vital need in hospitals, clinics and communities,” said President Clif Smart. “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.”
Vital changes for the nursing program
The addition is just one way the MoExcels Workforce Initiative will improve the nursing program.
The initiative will also fund the necessary faculty and staff positions to prepare more health care professionals.
Under this plan, MSU will:
- 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 the OTC ASN to MSU BSN pathway.
“There are so many avenues for students pursuing a career in nursing,” Smart said. “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.”
MoExcels funding will facilitate development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs and initiatives to substantially increase educational attainment. Funding recommended through MoExcels will be available for a single fiscal year.