UA Little Rock/CHI St. Vincent honor first Pathway students
August 28 - September 3, 2017
By Angelita Faller
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and CHI St. Vincent honored the first participants of a program that will address the nursing shortage in Arkansas.
In May, UA Little Rock and CHI St. Vincent announced a three-year initiative — the UA Little Rock/CHI St. Vincent Pathway Program — to expand student capacity in the UA Little Rock Department of Nursing and to fill the nursing staffing needs at CHI St. Vincent.
The first 37 students accepted into the Pathway Program signed their contracts with CHI St. Vincent during a special ceremony at on Aug. 16, in the Pat Walker Center for Nursing Education on the UA Little Rock campus.
“This is an incredible opportunity to not only help students achieve their educational goals, but also to begin to work towards putting more nurses at the bedside, while continuing to be a part of a longstanding relationship with CHI St. Vincent,” said Dr. Charles Molsbee, chair of the UA Little Rock Department of Nursing.
Students who complete the program will earn an associate of applied science degree through an accelerated 18-month program. Upon completion, students can obtain their RN license and begin a nursing career at CHI St. Vincent.
Each Pathway participant will receive a $2,500 per-semester scholarship to cover the cost of the accelerated program. Graduates will join the nursing staff at CHI St. Vincent for a minimum of 24 months.
“It is an opportunity to be a part of something great,” said Pathway Program participant Daniel Ramos of Jacksonville. “It is truly an honor to be selected in such a program. It also means I’m a part of something more than myself, I will be able to aid and assist in helping others around me.”
The program comes at a time when the vacancy rate for RNs continues to rise across the state and nation. There’s a shortage of 700 nurses in central Arkansas alone.
New students of the UA Little Rock College of Nursing, listen to a presentation during the first day of classes on August 16. (Photo by Nick Popowitch)