Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) announced a $250,000 gift over three years from Union Health Systems to expand the Paramedic to BSN (PM-BSN) program. Union officials presented the first installment of $100,000 during a press conference on Monday. This online degree program allows students who are paramedics the opportunity to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, enabling students with varied work schedules to take classes while still employed. The program’s first cohort began in January 2023 and is at capacity with 24 students. The Union Health Systems grant will enable the College to enroll a second cohort starting in August 2023 with an additional 24 students. The grant will also allow the program to add more faculty members and strengthen courses.
Janet Clark, Ph.D., provost/vice president for academic affairs, is excited about the partnership. “Union has been a great partner with us since our program’s inception. Their continued support allows us to expand and provide new opportunities such as the PM-BSN, which puts more healthcare professionals into the workforce.”
Union Health Systems regards the support for this program at SMWC as another way to help resolve the Wabash Valley nursing shortage. “Union Health is excited to support the Paramedic-to-Bachelor of Nursing program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, which will help increase the supply of nurses serving our patients at Union Health,” said Steve Holman, president and chief executive officer of Union Health. Rhonda Smith, vice president and chief nursing officer at Union said, “This donation today allows paramedics the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills, while opening additional career options for their future in health care.”
The nursing skills lab in Hulman Hall will be renamed the Union Health Nursing Skills Lab. Marcia Miller, Ph.D., RN, dean, Division of Nursing and Sciences, is enthusiastic about collaborating with Union Health. “Union Health has been a great clinical placement for our students since the start of our undergraduate nursing program. We see this innovative online BSN offering as a way to meet the career goals of paramedics and provide more professional nurses, as well as provide these students with a path to an advanced practice graduate degree.”
SMWC’s nursing program began in 2015 and has expanded to include a Master of Science in Nursing, a post-master’s family nurse practitioner certificate and the paramedic science to BSN degree. Learn more about the PM to BSN program at smwc.edu/pm-bsn