Duncan Regional Hospital partners with OU for new nursing degree program

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - Duncan Regional Hospital is giving people the chance to get a nursing degree from OU without having to leave southwest Oklahoma.

The partnership between Duncan Regional Hospital and the OU College of Nursing comes as hospitals across the country face a shortage of nurses. The hope is this partnership will help change that in southwest Oklahoma, by allowing people to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing while sticking in the area.

“The idea is were going to educate nurses in Duncan for Duncan. There’s highly likely people that work at Duncan in different areas that aspire to be a nurse, and having this program here makes it possible,” said Dr. Julie Hoff, Dean of the OU College of Nursing.

On the OU side, it will help address another shortage, faculty positions that require you to have a doctorate.

“There’s not only a shortage of nurses, there’s a horrendous shortage of nursing faculty. We hope to advance the education of nurses that are practicing in Duncan, whether they go and get a doctorate to be a nurse scientist or get a doctorate to become a nurse practitioner, it’s that advancement of practice,” Hoff said.

Hoff said normally, Duncan Regional Hospital and OU nursing would be competing for the same nursing candidates, which this partnership eliminates.

“We’ll assist with hopefully faculty positions and teaching, they’ll bring some additional things with their students as far as helping us with research and evidence-based projects and really working together as a group instead of just a group of nurses being trained here and working in a hospital there,” said Dr. Kristen Webb, Chief Nursing Officer for Duncan Regional Health.

Hoff said partnerships like this one are going to be essential for ultimately ending the nursing shortage.

“In order to produce more nurses in Oklahoma, it’s going to be these academic practice partnerships that are essential. Anybody that thinks they can go out and build a college of nursing to solve the shortage can’t because there’s not the faculty. We’ve got to be creative in building and advancing nursing faculty,” Hoff said.

With the partnership in Duncan, nurses will likely wear a lot of different hats and do a variety of things like see patients, do research and teach all in the same day, with the pay for those things coming from both OU and Duncan Regional Hospital.

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