Howard Payne University offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2014

BROWNWOOD, Texas - The job outlook has been bleak, but nursing is one area that's in demand.

Students at Howard Payne University will soon have a new option in the nursing field.

The university will offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree beginning in the fall 2014 semester.

Officials at Brownwood Regional Medical Center said the hospital struggles to keep registered nurses, and they think Howard Payne's addition of a BSN degree will benefit the hospital.

"We currently struggle to have enough RN's in the area to fill all of our current vacancies," said Michael Cadoret, chief nursing officer at Brownwood Regional Medical Center.

Cadoret believes a four-year degree nursing program at Howard Payne University could be the solution.

"The closest bachelor's program is Tarleton State University (in Stephenville), so not really in the area here at all," said Cadoret.

And because a BSN degree has not been offered locally in the past, Cadoret said many of their RN's leave after a year or two to return to their hometown.

"What we're really looking for is more of the local nurses giving the local people an opportunity to get a profession, and quite honestly, a good paying profession," said Cadoret.

Cadoret said by hiring local RN's, the hospital, Howard Payne University, and the Brownwood community benefits.

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