New Wayne State, Creighton partnership targets nursing shortage

Nursing students are able to take three years of courses on the WSC campus followed by a year with Creighton University at CHI Health St. Francis.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 8:47 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Creighton University banners are officially flying on the Wayne State College campus. It’s all because of a new partnership between the two in an accelerated nursing program in Grand Island.

Nursing students are able to take three years of courses on the WSC campus followed by a year with Creighton University at CHI Health St. Francis.

One of the goals of the program is to keep the students in Grand Island after they earn their BSN.

WSC President Marysz Rames told Local4 News, this partnership is meant to help with the nursing shortage in Grand Island.

“Grand Island is the third largest community and so, obviously, the shortage is greater here,” Rames said. “So, how do we look at students that may be first-gen, low-income students, provide them a pathway into Wayne… you know, almost 50% of our students are first generation — give them an opportunity to earn those first three years, at our price point, and then move into Creighton, and more importantly — move back to Grand Island, because many of the students in this region want to come home.”

The Creighton pathway started at CHI Health St. Francis a couple years ago. Kiley Grizwa, the hospital vice president of patient care services said, they’d already seen some of the ABSN graduates become part of their full time staff, and they’re looking to add even more through this new partnership

“With a local program such as this, we can really attract the workforce and they can see what it’s like to be in Grand Island, live in Grand Island and work in Grand Island and ideally, they’ll stay with us,” Grizwa said.

Students looking to earn a ABSN through the new program are required to have a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher and must also be enrolled in undergraduate studies at WSC.

Altogether, 19 nursing students are set to go through the accelerated Creighton nursing program at CHI Health St. Francis this fall.