The UTEP School of Nursing has reached a long-term goal to admit its first summer cohort to its traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program this semester, from late May to Aug. 23.
Eighty-five students are expected to complete the nursing program in less than two years, making it possible for them to jumpstart their careers and help address the shortage of bilingual and bicultural health professionals who understand the needs of the growing Hispanic population. Hispanics make up 17 percent of the total U.S. population.
“Across the nation, schools of nursing are receiving more applicants than they are able to admit,” said UTEP School of Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Ph.D. “At our great SON, we are always looking for innovative ways to maximize our resources, both internally and externally. We are continually striving to increase our enrollment to meet the health care demands of our community and our region.”
Each fall and spring semester, the nursing program receives about 300 to 400 applications, out of which 90 students are admitted.
This year, the school was able to expand its student capacity thanks to the support from clinical partners that are providing additional clinical placements sites at acute care and ambulatory care facilities.
“Our clinical partners are very supportive in our initiative to increase student enrollment to meet the health care needs of the community,” Provencio-Vasquez said.
The traditional nursing program is divided into four semesters – 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. During the 5th semester, students learn the fundamentals of nursing care and how to complete a basic health assessment.
Compared to the 16-week-long fall and spring semesters, students are expected to learn the same material over 14 weeks this summer. From Monday through Friday, they will attend class and receive hands-on-training in UTEP’s Center for Simulation. Students who continue with the cohort will graduate in August 2014.
Stephanie Legarretta decided to start the nursing program this summer because she wants to start her career by her 21st birthday next year.
“I know it’s going to be tough but anything is possible if you dedicate yourself,” Legarretta said.
For information, contact Manuel Santa Cruz, D.N.P., undergraduate education assistant dean, at 915-747-7273.