Opinion

UC keeps nursing commitment to Beckley area

An editorial from the Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The new nursing program to be instituted at the University of Charleston-Beckley is the fulfillment of both a promise and a regional need.

When Mountain State University shut down, so did its nursing program.

When the University of Charleston took over, they assured us the nursing program would be resurrected. Just a year after UC-Beckley was created, the nursing program is back on track.

Thanks to UC-Beckley President Jerry Forster, that pledge has become a reality.

Forster said the university has notified state nursing regulators of the school’s intentions, beginning the accreditation process.

Forster said that in the past year he has discussed nursing with community leaders and hospital administrators. All said nurses were desperately needed to fill shortages in southern West Virginia.

“The University of Charleston has a storied 50-year history when it comes to allied health program and this nursing at UC-Beckley will become the newest chapter,” Forster said.

The restoration of the nursing program at the university is critical on several fronts.

Beckley, with its major hospitals, is rapidly becoming an even more important medical destination for treatment of patients not just from southern West Virginia but from surrounding states, as well.

Whatever the uncertainties surrounding the federal Affordable Care Act and its real-world impact on medical treatment and medical facilities, many experts have predicted nurses will become even more important, not just at hospitals but also in affiliated medical practices.

Additionally, the demographics of West Virginia, at least for now, show that we are becoming older, and medical care for the elderly takes on more significance…

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