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News & Info

University of Providence and Salish Kootenai College Partner to Provide Additional Pathway for Nursing Students

The University of Providence announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Salish Kootenai College (SKC) for an advanced degree for nursing students, specifically in the Nurse Educator track. This MOU will be an ongoing partnership in order to provide an additional pathway for students to advance their education to receive a master’s in nursing.

“We are thrilled to partner with Dr. Lisa Harmon and the SKC nursing program. The program has recently transitioned to a BSN program which makes SKC the first tribal college in the United States to offer a 4-year nursing degree,” said Dr. Melissa Robinson, Division Chair of Nursing programs at the University of Providence. “We know that SKC graduates will be very well prepared to start their nursing careers following their undergraduate education. They will have the opportunity to complete the online graduate program while working as registered nurses in their community. We want to be there to support them as they achieve that next level of success in their nursing education.”

Under the terms of the MOU, University of Providence will provide outreach and advising to nursing students while they are in the SKC BSN program in order to support their transition to an online, accredited graduate education. In addition to the benefits for students, SKC nursing faculty may also attend the graduate program at reduced partnership rates for tuition. Lastly, Salish Kootenai College has agreed to serve as a potential internship site for UP students in the MSN Nurse Educator Program which will add to the diverse learning experiences in the graduate program. This partnership will enable University of Providence and Salish Kootenai College to influence health care by contributing to a more highly educated nursing workforce, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

Dr. Jonas Nugh, Dean of the School of Health Professions at the University of Providence says, “My hope is that this partnership will enable both institutions to go further faster than if they were trying to do the same alone.”

The University of Providence is a private, Roman Catholic University located in Great Falls, Montana offering both undergraduate and graduate level liberal arts programs and health programs. With a mission to provide educational opportunities to caregivers who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, the University of Providence’s mission aligns with that of Salish Kootenai College. That is, to provide quality post-secondary educational opportunities and support for Native Americans to achieve their academic and career goals.

The four-year program at SKC is a direct admit model where interested students take a pre-admission exam in order to be admitted. This cohort-based program is a good match for the tribal college because SKC students are community spirited. This aligns well with University of Providence’s community mentality and dedication to a diverse student body representing many faith and cultural traditions.