WINGATE — Wingate University
is taking steps to expand its pharmacy program and bring back a nursing degree.
Wingate is responding to the
growing demand for nursing professionals by taking steps to reinstate a
bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree by 2012. The new BSN program is
pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the
North Carolina Board of Nursing.
The U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services projects nursing shortages in 44 states, including
North Carolina, by 2020.
The shortage is partly due
to the declining number of nursing school graduates and the aging of the RN
workforce. The agency also indicates an increasing share of nursing graduates
with bachelor’s degrees.
In North Carolina alone, a
nursing shortage is expected to reach nearly 20,000 by 2015 and 32,000 by 2020,
according to the North Carolina Center for Nursing.
Once approved, the BSN
program at Wingate University will be offered on the main campus in Wingate.
The BSN program would
initially enroll 20 students per class and would be geared toward high school
students who desire a four-year degree.
“We feel a nursing program
will serve our area well, based on the number of inquiries we receive from
prospective students,” said Wingate University President Jerry E. McGee.
“This program is in keeping with our
mission to provide students with a complete educational experience that will
lead them to an extraordinary career and life.”
In expanding its pharmacy
program, Wingate will initially offer the doctor of pharmacy program to start
in fall 2011 in Hendersonville, pending accreditation approval. The program
will be housed in an 11,000 square-foot facility in the heart of downtown
Plans are moving forward to
serve the Western North Carolina area with a master of business administration
and a master of physician assistant studies, pending approvals by their
respective accrediting agencies. These programs will be housed in the
The expansion of its
pharmacy program next year underscores the university’s commitment to pharmacy
education in North Carolina to meet the increasing need for future pharmacists.
“Since the other two pharmacy schools in North Carolina are located in the eastern
part of the state, Wingate University has always viewed the Western and
Piedmont regions as our service area,” McGee said.
Some of its fourth-year
pharmacy students are already being trained in clinical sites in the area.
The new program would
partner with Park Ridge Hospital in Fletcher, Pardee Hospital in
Hendersonville, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville for clinical
sites, as well as several community pharmacies.