UT Tyler to admit more students, shorten program to address nursing shortage

Barbara Haas, second from right, University of Texas at Tyler School of Nursing executive director, and Angela Preston, third from right, UT Tyler clinical instructor, talk to nursing students about the university’s plan to address the nursing shortage by expanding the nursing program capacity.

TYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler announced Thursday that it will expand its bachelor of science in nursing program to accept more students in an effort to address the shortage of nurses in Texas.

The university said that from 2011-18, the School of Nursing admitted 2,116 students and turned away 2,361 qualified applicants because it had neither the room nor enough faculty to handle more students.

The expansion will allow about 180 more students to be admitted each year and also accelerate the rate at which the program produces nurses, the university said.

“With the expansion, students will graduate an entire semester earlier than was possible under the previous model,” said Dr. Barbara Haas, School of Nursing executive director. “Not only will we be able to accept more applicants, but we will also get them out into the workforce faster.”

Starting in spring 2020, the program will offer a 12-month, year-round bachelor of science in nursing program made up of three 15-week semesters. Applicants will be admitted in the fall, spring and summer and attend full-time for four consecutive semesters.

Yong “Tai” Wang, UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences dean, said the school recognizes the need for more nurses.

“The state has been experiencing a nursing shortage for a few years, and in the next 10 years, it is predicted that Texas will have the second-largest nursing shortage in the country,” Wang said.

Beth Neidlinger, Christus Good Shepherd Health System administrative director for education, applauded the expansion.

“UT Tyler … has been responsive to the needs of our local hospital partners,” Neidlinger said.

For information, call the College of Nursing and Health Sciences advisers at (903) 566-7320.