CHI St. Vincent has joined forces with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to create a new program in response to the nursing shortage in Arkansas.
The UA Little Rock/CHI St. Vincent Pathway Program will expand student capacity at the UA Little Rock Department of Nursing while addressing staffing needs at CHI St. Vincent.
CHI St. Vincent will provide financial support for UA Little Rock to hire additional faculty and staff to create a greater capacity for the school to admit more students. The two institutions will award a total of $2,500 per semester to each Pathway Program student, which covers the tuition for the accelerated associate of applied science degree program.
“Quality nurses are a cornerstone of our ministry at CHI St. Vincent, and this partnership with UA Little Rock will ensure that we can continue to provide the community and our patients with excellent and compassionate care for years to come,” CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell said. “Health care providers across the country are looking for ways to tackle this critical nursing shortage, and we see this investment in education as an important step toward preparing motivated students for an honorable and worthwhile profession in nursing.”
Under the agreement, UA Little Rock will recruit and educate an average of 40 students per year for the 18-month program. After completing the program, students will be prepared to obtain their RN licensure and begin a career at CHI St. Vincent.
Pathway Program graduates will join the nursing staff at CHI St. Vincent for a minimum of 24 months. The first 40 students will enter the Pathway Program this fall.
There’s a shortage of 700 nurses in central Arkansas alone, Aduddell said.