UIW and Orbis Education to Launch Accelerated Nursing Degree Program

January 20, 2020

New program to expand education opportunities, fill the dire need for nurses

Nursing student checks patientSAN ANTONIO – University of the Incarnate Word is partnering with Orbis Education on an accelerated bachelor’s degree program to address the nursing shortage in San Antonio and throughout Texas. Through a hybrid learning model that combines an interactive e-learning platform and state-of-the-art simulations with clinical rotations at top local hospitals, students can earn a degree in as little as 16 months.

“The partnership will enable us to arm the next generation of students with the skills they need to fill positions in demand,” said Holly Cassells, professor and interim dean of the university’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professionals. “What’s more, the program aligns the missions of our hospitals and other healthcare providers with the mission of the university to improve opportunities for our city as a whole.”

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis notes that Texas is second only to California as states hardest hit by the nursing shortage. By 2030, the number of unfilled registered nurse positions will swell to 60,000, based on projections by the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies. In greater San Antonio, there are approximately 1,300 live postings for open positions for registered nurses. But while the need for nurses is well-documented, thousands of students are turned away from colleges and universities whose programs are at capacity.

“As recently as 2016, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses estimated that more than 64,000 qualified students were turned away from nursing education programs that were already at capacity,” said Daniel Briggs, founder and CEO of Orbis Education. “The new accelerated BSN program will enable the university to work hand in hand with local health providers to plan for their workforce needs and then deliver a pipeline of talented, work-ready nurses.”

Cassells said that although accelerated, the program curriculum, learning objectives and outcomes mirror the university’s traditional BSN program.

There will be three start dates per year, beginning in the fall of 2020. Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of nursing. Transfer students and those in advanced standing also are eligible for the program.