BECKLEY, W.Va. — The proposed nursing program at the University of Charleston-Beckley campus cleared a major hurdle by winning approval to initiate the program from the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, the university announced Thursday.
The nursing program — aimed at working students — will enable students to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing by going to classes every other weekend for 18 months.
Set to start Aug. 29, the accelerated program is the only one of its kind in the state and was developed at the request of officials from various local hospitals, according to program director Duane F. Napier, MSN, RN.
“This has been a true community partnership,” Napier said Thursday. “Once this started going, it just snowballed.
“We have received funding to help with this program through local area foundations, financial support from the University of Charleston and from the local hospitals.”
Local hospital administrators and Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce members had approached Dr. Jerry Forster, U-C regional president, to ask that UC-Beckley offer a nursing program. A similar program was offered by the now-closed Mountain State University.
Rocco Massey, CEO of Beckley-Appalachian Regional Healthcare, noted Thursday that the demand for health care services is continuing to increase.
“We take care of 275,000 people across seven counties. One thing is for sure, we have to have nurses in order to do that,” he said.
Raleigh General CEO David Darden said Thursday that the program will have a positive impact on RGH as well.
“We are extremely excited about the University of Charleston reintroducing the nursing program,” said Darden. “Having this program available is a tremendous asset to our facility.”
Napier said meeting the needs of local hospitals was a factor in developing of the program…