This new program will allow qualified PTISD students to enroll in specialized dual credit health services courses at LETU to gain dual high school and college credits, starting in their freshman year of high school.
What this new program does is enable these talented high school students to complete several college-level hours toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree by the time they graduate from high school. By streamlining their education, they can complete college more efficiently--in less time and at less cost--because they can begin their freshman year in college with as many as 30 credit hours, nearly a whole year ahead. LETU faculty and dean will maintain full control of course content, curricular outcomes and assessments.
House Bill 5 that was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry creates a high school diploma that provides students a variety of postsecondary options in school and workforce by earning endorsements in one of five areas, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
HB5 enables school districts to partner with higher education and industry to develop rigorous courses at the local level to address the workforce needs in the community. In the fall of 2013, Longview Regional Medical Center increased its capacity of beds to 230, nearly doubling the number from the previous year. And Good Shepherd Medical Center has added a 74,000-square foot outpatient and 24-hour emergency center.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a third of occupations expected to see rapid growth are related to health care in the coming years. Employment for registered nurses is expected to increase by 26% before 2020. More than 700,000 more nurses will be needed, partly due to the aging population and increase in people with multiple, chronic health conditions requiring increased care.
The growth in the number of people needing health care coupled with professional nurses reaching retirement age increases demand for nursing education programs like the one we have begun at LETU.
This new dual-credit partnership will help us meet these needs for qualified, compassionate, Christ-centered nurses who make a difference in the future for all of us.