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LETU's offers new 'hands-on' nursing program

LONGVIEW, July 24, 2014-- Approved by the Texas Board of Nursing, this fall LeTourneau University debuts a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree on its main campus.

“Our science and technology programs already shine, and new nursing capabilities up the wattage,” University President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford said. “True to LeTourneau standards, we mix flexible learning with broad hands-on, supervised clinical experience. Students benefit, the school benefits and regional health care quality just got a shot in the arm.”

The action by the Texas Board of Nursing follows months of extensive planning by the university; endorsements by regional hospitals and health care providers; and a comprehensive evaluation by the TBN. The new program is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

As Boomers turn gray and health-care needs skyrocket, the U.S. Department of Labor says more than 700,000 new nurses are needed by 2020. Looking at work growth in the coming years, a full one-third will be healthcare-related, according to a 2012 DOL report. Between 2010 and 2020, nursing jobs will rise about 26 percent. Factor in the likely exit of retiring nurses as the economy recovers, and LeTourneau is rising to market demand with high skills.

The need is particularly acute in Texas.

“Texas ranks 45th in the U.S. for registered nurses per 100,000 population,” LETU’s new Dean of Nursing Dr. Kimberly Quiett said. “LeTourneau will emphasize the types of care specifically needed in the rural populations of Texas as well as for the metropolitan areas.”

The school also is working with ministries that could provide global service opportunities for nursing students.

“LETU students tend to be mission-minded, and global work is a natural to nursing,” Quiett explains. “What’s more, many LETU nursing grads will see work within the church as foundational to their practice.” 

Quiett also has arranged for students, working alongside faculty, to serve through churches. As they help churches serve community needs, the students again help people of highly varied ages and backgrounds.

LETU’s new School of Nursing will engage with more than 20 local healthcare and community agencies to teach students in a wide range of clinical venues and across a broad swath of cultures, age groups, socio-economic levels and clinical issues and problems. 

Students also may work in homeless shelters, public clinics, churches, community groups, schools, child care centers, adult day care centers, memory care facilities, home health care agencies and hospice organizations.

“LETU nursing grads—hands on and hands down—will be equipped anytime and anywhere to lead through service,” Quiett said.

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