UA Little Rock & CHI St. Vincent Pathway Program
May 18, 2017
A three-year initiative to address the long-running problem of a shortage of nurses in Arkansas is being launched by UA Little Rock and CHI St. Vincent. The Pathway Program was announced on Thursday.
It is set up to recruit faculty and fund enrollment for 40 students in an 18-month accelerated program. The cost of tuition will be covered in a loan that will be erased after graduation and 24-months of licensure training and work at CHI St. Vincent.
CEO Chad Aduddell said it’s a new step in a partnership with the university dating back over 50 years.
“We’ve done traditional things that other hospitals and health systems have done across the country. We do recruiting fairs,” he said. “But when we looked at the nursing shortage here in central Arkansas we thought, we need to train our own nurses. We need to grow our own.”
Aduddell said locally about 700 nursing positions go unfilled. He hopes to stem the shortage, which is expected to get worse due to an aging population, by establishing “a dedicated pipeline of quality nurses to CHI St. Vincent.”
The hospital is putting about $330,000 a year into faculty and staff per year in addition to $200,000 annually for tuition costs. UA Little Rock also plans to direct $200,000 per year for tuition for the 40 students.
Chancellor Andrew Rogerson said the university is committed to continue the Pathway Program beyond the initial three-year agreement.
“We will take on the cost after the three years is up. We will absorb the cost of the faculty and staff we hired. Quite frankly, we are committed that this is going to be 40 students extra every year forever,” the Chancellor said after his remarks.
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