With a need for nurses and nursing instructors nationwide, Thomas University has started a two-year masters nursing program.
Organizers say most students work full-time. Students take classes one day a week so that it doesn't interfere with their careers.
Mary Weber, a student, says, "I received my bachelor's degree here in 2000. That was the first stage of my goal and I'm excited that they have a masters program. It allows me to continue my career, my job here, my work, and I can also obtain my education."
Organizers say the program has two main focuses: preparing nurses to take leadership roles and to teach nurses how to become educators themselves.
Sue Otto, assistant professor in the Nursing Division, says, "By preparing nurses to teach we can bring more students into nursing programs and help to begin to alleviate the nursing shortage."
Mary Weber adds, "I'd like to be involved in policy making for nursing, promoting the profession of nursing, helping to impact and encourage younger women and men to enter the nursing profession."
Organizers say the program has eight students, but the university hopes to expand the program to 30 students, growth that will bring more than three times as many nurses to a needy community.
Thomas University officials say in the next few years they are looking to start off-campus programs. Right now the school offers online and hybrid courses.