FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2022
GREAT FALLS, MONTANA –Thanks to a generous donation, the University of Providence will be expanding its nursing program, bringing in a new state-of-the-art facility to campus.
The university would like to thank Ric Oberholz, a former student of the university, for donating $1.5-million. Oberholz’s donation will allow UP to create opportunities for traditional aged students to apply to a four-year nursing program. This will be the first on-campus program for the university’s School of Health Professions.
The expansion will include a renovated lecture hall and a new nursing simulation lab, allowing students to get hands-on experience on campus. The program will bring together the Core Curriculum, offered through the campus-based School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Health Professions, which has previously been all distance oriented.
“Nursing has traditionally been our largest program and COVID has had a very detrimental impact on that. More and more nurses are leaving the profession and that makes this program critically important,” – Matt Redinger, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affair, University of Providence.
Currently, the university has two undergraduate Nursing tracks: the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in Anchorage, Alaska, and Lewistown, Montana, which are designed to help those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field complete courses and gain clinical experience to prepare them for becoming a nurse, and an RN-to-BSN program for those who have a two-year nursing license, to complete their four-year degree.
“As UP begins its 90th Anniversary Celebrations, Ric Oberholz’s generous gift presents us with the opportunity to reflect on our past, particularly as the first nursing school in Great Falls, so that we can begin to shape our post COVID future. I am very excited to add a nursing pathway for traditional students that builds on foundational knowledge from the liberal arts, sciences and the humanities,” Fr. Oliver Doyle, President, University of Providence.
“This gift is my way of paying forward my appreciation for all the efforts we all have enjoyed due to the vision of the Sisters of Providence and this wonderful campus,” — Oberholz.
The nursing program expansion has an anticipated launch of Fall 2023.