Wingate University is planning to reinstate a bachelor of science in nursing degree by 2012 and is expanding its pharmacy school to Hendersonville in fall 2011.
Officials, who announced the changes Thursday, said they're responding to projected shortages in health care personnel nationally.
The new BSN program, which must be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the N.C. Board of Nursing, would initially enroll 20 students per class on the main campus in Union County. It will complement the university's other health sciences programs, including the doctor of pharmacy and master of physician assistant studies.
Wingate previously offered a BSN degree for nurses who already had two-year associate degrees and wanted to complete a four-year degree. It was discontinued in the mid-1990s for lack of demand. The new program will be geared toward high school graduates who want a four-year degree. The university is looking for a director of nursing to establish curriculum and seek accreditation.
In North Carolina, a nursing shortage is expected to reach nearly 20,000 by 2015, according to the N.C. Center for Nursing.
Wingate's expanded pharmacy program, which is awaiting accreditation approval, will be housed in an 11,000-square-foot building in downtown Hendersonville, in the N.C. mountains south of Asheville. Wingate also plans to offer programs at the Hendersonville campus in business administration and for physician assistants, pending approval of accreditation agencies.
Wingate opened its four-year School of Pharmacy in 2003. Graduates have scored above the national average on licensing exams in each of the past four years.
Some fourth-year students are already working in pharmacies in the Hendersonville area. The new program plans to partner with Park Ridge Hospital in Fletcher, Margaret R. Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville and Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.