New program by SIH & SIU to tackle nursing shortage - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New program by SIH & SIU to tackle nursing shortage

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- People across our region who want to become nurses will soon have the resources available in their own backyard.

Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIUC) are teaming up to create a nursing program after the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the plan.

"It's very difficult to recruit to Southern Illinois so this is going to allow for us the opportunity to help with their curriculum," said Jennifer Harre, SIH's chief nursing officer.

Pre-nursing students can enroll in a new bachelor of science in nursing program this fall before the full nursing curriculum goes into effect in 2020. Officials predict the program will provide training for about 500 students every year.

"It's just going to be wonderful to have a partner help us do that," said Rex Budde, president and CEO of SIH.

Budde says SIH has invested more than one million dollars into the undergraduate program and $470,000 into two graduate programs, one set to begin in 2021.

The nursing program will feature three tracks:

  1. A four-year program for incoming freshman
  2. A track for registered nurses who have an associates degree 
  3. An accelerated program for students with a bachelor degree in a different field (scheduled to begin in 2021)

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