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Agreement allows St. Mary’s students to apply for fast track to UTHSC School of Nursing
(10-10-01)

St. Mary’s University students who seek bachelor’s degrees in nursing may take their last two years of courses at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) School of Nursing as part of a new cooperative program, officials of both institutions announced today.

High school seniors who plan to study nursing and attend St. Mary’s can enter the Collaborative Admissions Program for Scholars in Nursing (CAPS). Identified as students interested in nursing, they will be included in the activities of the School of Nursing Student Nurses Association and will be welcome participants in other School of Nursing activities. They may apply to be admitted to the UTHSC School of Nursing to pursue the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree after completing at least 60 hours of prerequisites, usually in the sophomore year.

"This agreement will help us address the shortage of nurses in South Texas,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the Health Science Center. “Nurses are essential to effective health care in so many settings; this is yet another way in which we can train a new generation of outstanding students to provide care in our region and state.”

The two institutions in May announced a collaborative agreement for prospective medical students. That agreement provides a competitive early acceptance program for outstanding St. Mary’s sophomores.

“Education is the pulse of life, and students from St. Mary’s will have the opportunity to learn the best that medical science has to offer through the collaborative nursing program,” said Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., president of St. Mary’s. “It is important for students to experience and practice community-based education, especially if they are to attend to the medically underserved among us.” “We seek the best students from South Texas with the goal of educating and training the best and most compassionate nurses and nurse educators,” said Janet D. Allan, Ph.D., RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “The quality of students at St. Mary’s will help us greatly as we prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the field of nursing and its many areas of specialization.”

St. Mary’s students who meet the stipulated requirements will be guaranteed admission to CAPS beginning in spring 2002. Admissions will be based on applicants’ academic potential and proven interest in entering the nursing profession, as reflected by their grade point averages and their completion of prerequisite courses. Students not meeting the stipulated requirements will be considered later as part of the larger applicant pool for School of Nursing admission, nearly 20 percent of whom are men. It is anticipated that the CAPS program will attract students to start at St. Mary’s in the fall of 2002 and enter the Health Science Center in 2004.

“Our goal is to support young scholars who are accepted to the program during their undergraduate studies by providing academic enrichment and preparing them for nursing courses,” said Anthony J. Kaufman, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s, which is noted for its strong health careers programs. The federally funded Health Careers Opportunities Program helps students develop the thinking, reading, writing, math and science skills necessary for pursuing a health career. HCOP will be one avenue for reaching students with information about the new nursing program. St. Mary’s has designated Colleen J. Nolan, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences, as the faculty adviser to students interested in nursing.

In January 2002, St. Mary’s University, the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio, will begin a yearlong sesquicentennial celebration of 150 years of nationally recognized academic excellence and service to society. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has established itself as a major research institution, and its faculty members play a major role for the state, nation and world in the discovery of new knowledge and the search for answers to society’s health care needs.

 

Contact: Will Sansom or Stacy Maloney, (210)431-4377