Murray State College is broadening its horizons by starting an associate’s nursing program at Mercy Hospital in Ardmore. 

Applications for the program will be accepted starting Sept. 10 and ending Oct. 10. Robin Coppedge, chair of the nursing program, said the program won’t launch until January 2019. Mercy will be the site of an extended campus, a plan that’s been approved by the state board of nursing. 

“We wanted to expand our nursing program to meet the needs of the area,” Coppedge said. “We have students in Durant, Ada, Texas, even as far as Talihina and Pauls Valley, and we have a lot in Ardmore.”  

Coppedge said classes will be held at Mercy in an area that’s currently being renovated to include simulation labs and classrooms. She said the school is working with Mercy Vice President of Nursing Debbie Pender to use the program to meet the hospital’s needs. 

Coppedge said nursing students typically graduate in May, meaning there’s a shortage of new nurses during winter and fall. Students will graduate from the new Murray program in December. 

“Then you have a continuous supply of nursing graduates in the area to meet the needs,” Coppedge said. 

“In every facility, there’s never enough nurses,” Coppedge said. “There’s always vacancies, and in the winter there’s more patients.” 

Coppedge said the program will accept between 10 and 15 students during its first year as administrators get a feel for how many students the program can serve at one time. Eventually, the program will expand to serve roughly 40 students at any given time, with 20 in their first year and 20 in their second. 

Faculty and staff from Murray State College’s Tishomingo campus will come to Ardmore to teach the students. The nursing program at the Tishomingo campus will not change in any way. 

Mscnursing.com has more information about the program itself. Coppedge said anyone with questions can contact the college at (580) 387-7000.

Coppedge said Oklahoma has long been short on nurses, with needs in home health, hospice care and emergency rooms only growing. 

“In every facility, there’s never enough nurses,” Coppedge said. “There’s always vacancies, and in the winter there’s more patients.”
Coppedge said the program will accept between 10 and 15 students during its first year as administrators get a feel for how many students the program can serve at one time. Eventually, the program will expand to serving roughly 40 students at any given time, with 20 in their first year and 20 in their second.
Faculty and staff from Murray State College’s Tishomingo campus will come to Ardmore to teach the students. The nursing program at the Tishomingo campus will not change in any way.