Wayland receives state approval to offer complete Nursing program in San Antonio, online programs for RNs to BSN available in fall

SAN ANTONIO – Wayland Baptist University recently received state approval for its new nursing program, enabling the school to provide a complete Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from its San Antonio campus. This will be the third bachelor’s degree program for nurses in San Antonio.

In addition, the university announced the online available beginning in the fall for the RN to BSN completion program, which allows registered nurses the opportunity to take nursing courses online to convert their nursing license into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Previously, the program had only been available on the San Antonio campus.

The new full nursing program will begin in San Antonio with approximately 15 students in the fall semester, and 15 more will be accepted in the spring of 2008. In the first year, Wayland plans to work out any wrinkles in the program, and then enroll more in the 2008-09 school year. According to Dr. James Antenen, campus dean in San Antonio, the local capacity for the program when all the classes are full will be up to 400.

The new program couldn’t come at a better time. The nursing shortage is nationwide, and acute in Texas. Health Resources and Services Administration reports that the nursing shortage in Texas was just over 10,000 in 2005, and the gap is expected to increase to 52,000 by 2020.

“Right now, there are hundreds of nursing jobs open in San Antonio and across south Texas, but no nurses to fill them, which is why we needed to start this program,” said Antenen.

This program has potential to grow nationwide. Wayland is uniquely positioned to be able to increase nursing education capacity not only in San Antonio, but across Texas and to five additional states where there are Wayland campuses.

“Soon, we will look at the possibility of offering the program at some of the additional 12 campuses of Wayland, including our main campus in Plainview,” Antenen said.

Other Wayland campuses include Amarillo, Lubbock and Wichita Falls in Texas, and campuses in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico and Arizona.

“When Wayland surveyed the need for this new program, we found that long lists of great students and qualified applicants had to be turned down from other local programs because of lack of space. As a result, the support from the other schools and hospitals in San Antonio has been tremendous,” Dr. Diane Frazor, director of the nursing program said. “Everyone agrees that we need to increase capacity for nurse education.”

“Wayland has a reputation for seeing a need and finding a way to meet it, whether it is providing degrees for the military, supplying flexible programs for working adults or helping meet the nursing shortage,” Dr. Antenen said.

Wayland isn’t new to nursing education. The new program is an expansion of the bridge program for registered nurses (RNs) to get their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree that Wayland started last year, according to Dr. Frazor. The Texas Board of Nurse Examiners approval is in addition to the regional accreditation (through Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) that Wayland’s nursing program received early in 2006.

“The RN to BSN program continues to grow, and the addition of the generic nursing program was next in our plan,” Frazor said.  “Now, any RN from anywhere in the world can get their BSN from Wayland through the online program.”

The new nursing program, along with the growth in San Antonio has also led to Wayland’s plans to expand its campus and offer even more programs in the near future.

“We have taken our first steps in a capital campaign for a new 65,000 square foot academic building, which will house new classrooms, a lecture hall and faculty offices,” Becky Bridges, director of institutional advancement said. “The new facility is desperately needed because we are out of space, yet our enrollment continues to grow.”

“To be out of space is a wonderful problem to have because it means we are helping provide more college degreed professionals for San Antonio. Everyone benefits from the economic boost of a well-educated workforce,” Bridges said. “Wayland just needs to provide more space so we can keep up with the demand.”

Wayland Baptist University has operated in San Antonio since 1984, and offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to more than 1,400 students each year. Since its inception, more than 8,000 students have graduated from the Wayland Baptist University - San Antonio campus.

For information on the programs at WBU San Antonio, call the campus at (210) 826-7595. For more information on the RN to BSN program online, contact the Plainview WBU Admissions office at (806) 291-3500 or toll free (800) 588-1928.