OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University will offer distance learning courses in nursing to hospitals and health care centers in Payson and Richfield, Utah, in an effort to address the tremendous demand for more nurses in rural locales.
The Department of Nursing at WSU has entered into contracts with Mountain View Hospital in Payson and with Gunnison Community Hospital, Sevier Valley Hospital and Richfield Care Center in and around Richfield. WSU will offer three to four nursing courses per semester at each location, available to medical center personnel as well as students from the general public.
According to Pam Hugie, outreach coordinator for WSU's Department of Nursing, up to 35 percent of the nursing positions in rural parts of the state are vacant. Hugie said that health care administrators in Payson and Richfield approached WSU about offering courses in an effort to increase the number of locally trained nurses in their regions.
The courses not only train students to become nurses, but offer existing nurses opportunities to expand their training and skills. Hugie said some of the theory courses may be taught online, with certified instructors teaching clinical courses on site at the facilities so students' progress can be monitored in person. Students who successfully complete the program earn an AS or AAS degree from WSU.
In addition to Payson and Richfield, WSU has outreach programs in Cedar City, Logan, Roosevelt/Vernal, and Tooele. Under the terms of the contract, WSU will offer classes at the Richfield facilities through 2005. The contract with Mountain View Hospital extends through 2007.
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