FOR RELEASE: April 11, 2018

CONTACT: Marketing and Communications at 406.791.5306

GREAT FALLS, MONTANA – The University of Providence President Tony Aretz announced today that the Montana Board of Nursing has granted tentative approval (pending an onsite visit) for a new bachelor’s of science in nursing program. The four-year undergraduate program will prepare future nurses to serve in rural areas, both in Central Montana, and across other rural western states.

“Our ability to expand our School of Health Professions nursing programs in Montana broadens opportunities for both the local population and beyond,” says Aretz. “This is a clear step toward our bold vision and we are excited about the positive impact our future students will have in healthcare, especially in rural facilities.”

In Montana, formal clinical partnerships have been forged with Central Montana Medical Center, the Nexus Drug Treatment Center and the Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center; all located in Lewistown.

“Central Montana Medical Center (CMMC) in Lewistown, Montana is so excited to partner with the University of Providence to provide BSN nursing and clinical opportunities for our rural students in central Montana,” says Karin White, chief nursing officer of CMMC. “This is a Godsend and will benefit Central Montanans for many years to come.”

A key feature of the new program allows place-bound, rural students to receive quality distance-based nursing education, along with the ability to complete clinical requirements in their own community. The tentative approval verified the program proposal has met all Board of Nursing requirements for a new program, and requires one final step: a site visit in locations where the program will actually be offered. Pending this final step, applications for the bachelor’s of science in nursing program are expected to open in fall of 2018.

“This is a great day for nursing in Montana,” said Deborah Burton, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Providence St. Joseph Health. “We are excited about what this means for both the University of Providence, and for the healthcare community in rural Montana and underserved areas in western states.”

In 2017, the university launched a new School of Health Professions to respond to growing demand for skilled healthcare workers. The School of Health Professions offers a number of online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level as well as post-baccalaureate certificates, including: RN to BSN completion program, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Science in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology, Applied Health Informatics Certificate, and a Medical Assistant Certificate. The university has plans to expand the School of Health Professions in the future to better meet high-need, critical workforce demands.

The University of Providence (UP) is a ministry of Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) and sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Students have access to a quality education with a direct connection to the healthcare industry with the partnership between UP and PSJH.

The University of Providence is a private Catholic university located in Great Falls, Montana. Founded in 1932, the university includes both a School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a School of Health Professions. For more information, go to www.uprovidence.edu.