Childress Regional Medical Center and The University of Texas at Arlington Team Up to Tackle Nursing Shortage

January 15, 2021


Innovative regional partnership offers an accelerated pathway to nursing degree

Childress, TX – January 14, 2021 – Childress Regional Medical Center in Childress, TX today announced that it will be partnering with The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) to be a clinical partner site for UTA’s Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Nursing (AO BSN) program. The new program offers prospective nursing students the opportunity to stay in their community and receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the No. 1 Public College of Nursing in the U.S., based on enrollment and graduate data compiled from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

This new initiative is aimed at addressing Texas’ nursing shortage, specifically in rural communities. The new partnership also aligns with UTA CONHI’s interest in the development of rural health initiatives, while affording employees at Childress Regional Medical Center and employees at surrounding critical access centers, as well as the greater Texas Panhandle community, access to an affordable and convenient nursing education.

Helping facilitate this new partnership and recruit qualified individuals to the program is Academic Partnerships (AP), a leading online facilitator in the U.S. Based in Dallas, AP has been a partner to UTA and its nursing programs, which have trained thousands of new nursing graduates in Texas and beyond.

SuLynn Mester, Chief Nursing Officer, Childress Regional Medical Center, said: “I am thrilled at the idea of working with the UTA CONHI in such a way as to bring a BSN degree program to our rural community. And as exciting as it is for both the University and our Medical Center, the real joy of it all is for the students it will benefit. Because these students can stay in their rural communities while getting their degree, the program will offer life changing opportunities to those who might not otherwise be able to chase their dreams, to get a college degree, to become a nurse. That warms my heart and motivates me in ways that I cannot even describe.”

As reported by the American Academy of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Texas is among states facing an impending nursing shortage. According to the 2017-2022 Texas State Health Plan, the shortage may be particularly acute in Texas’ underserved rural areas, where expanded nursing roles in providing care outside of hospitals are needed most—in primary care practices, family clinics and long-term care centers.

“UT Arlington is excited to be able to offer clinical experiences for the BSN program at Childress Regional Medical Center,” said Pam White, UTA AO BSN Program Manager – Remote Sites. “We hope our partnership will become a new model of providing nursing education in rural areas where access to baccalaureate level programs may be challenging. We are pleased with the outpouring of support for the program from the community, the administration, and the staff of Childress Regional Medical Center and look forward to working collaboratively with this site for years to come.”

Becky Berry, AP Managing Director, added, “We couldn’t be prouder of the work Academic Partnerships has done and continues to do with UT Arlington and it’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation as part of expanding access to its nursing programs. It takes this type of innovation in nursing education and harmonization with healthcare employers to address the nursing shortage.”

The UTA AO BSN is a pre-licensure program that offers students these benefits:

• 15-month BSN Program with 51 Credit Hours of Nursing Courses

• Upper-division nursing courses = 5 to 14 weeks each

• Didactic coursework is completed online

• Majority of clinical experiences are expected to take place on-site at clinical partner site, Childress Regional Medical Center, or within the geographic region

The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, whose top-quality nursing curricula result in some of the highest graduation and licensure rates in the U.S., offers innovative and affordable distance education options in collaboration with Dallas-based Academic Partnerships, a leading online services provider for higher education.

About Academic Partnerships
Academic Partnerships works with public universities and private colleges to expand their portfolio of online programs, grow their enrollments and support the entire online student journey. Founded in digital innovation more than a decade ago, Academic Partnerships brings single-minded dedication, an integrated set of services and data-driven performance to our collaboration with university partners—even more so as we face the challenges brought on by COVID-19. For more information on innovative online learning solutions, please visit

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