Nov. 2, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 44



Agreement allows St. Mary's students to apply for fast track to UTHSC School of Nursing

Photo of Cigarroa and Cotrell shaking hands Drs. Francisco G. Cigarroa, Health Science Center president, and Charles Cotrell, St. Mary's University president (right), congratulate each other after signing into action the Collaborative Admissions Program for Scholars in Nursing.

St. Mary's University students who seek bachelor's degrees in nursing may take their last two years of courses at the Health Science Center School of Nursing as part of a new cooperative program, officials of both institutions announced recently.

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 Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, 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 Dr. Charles L. Cotrell, 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."

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 School of Nursing applicant pool, 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.