Higher Education Policy Commission approves nursing education opportunities resulting from Gov. Justice’s nursing workforce expansion program

HUNTINGTON, WV – During its meeting today on the campus of Marshall University, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) approved a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Concord University, as well as Marshall University’s request to offer the BSN degree on the campus of Glenville State University. These programs are among 27 nursing education programs at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across the state that have received a total of $25.5 million through Gov. Jim Justice’s nursing workforce expansion program.

“We are tremendously grateful to Gov. Justice for providing this historic funding to support the expansion of nursing education programs across West Virginia,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Through these new projects, our postsecondary education community will be better positioned to help shore up West Virginia’s nursing workforce – which, in turn, will help support our nurses working tirelessly on the front lines right now.”

Concord University’s BSN is a 120 credit-hour program that the institution plans to begin in the spring 2023 semester. Designed to prepare students for entry into practice, the program will focus on meeting rural healthcare needs to help address the shortage of registered nurses in southern West Virginia.

Marshall University and Glenville State University developed a partnership that also intends to alleviate West Virginia’s nursing shortage by offering an educational opportunity that is not currently available in the central part of the state. Beginning in fall 2023, Marshall plans to extend its existing BSN program to Glenville’s students on Glenville’s campus.

Also today, the Commission approved university status for Bluefield State College. As authorized in State Code, once approval for university status is granted by the Commission, the institution’s board of governors must affirm the designation, followed by statutory name change by the Legislature.

The criteria for university status are: offering at least one master’s-level degree program; having an approved mission statement that provides for the offering of graduate programs; obtaining the approval of the Higher Learning Commission to offer any master’s degree program; and, having at least two-thirds of its faculty holding a terminal degree.