After much anticipation, the Langston nursing program is underway at the University Center of Southern Oklahoma. 

The center hosted a student orientation for the 14 students in the four-year program last Tuesday. The program will replace East Central University’s nursing program, which will officially leave the campus at the end of the semester. Teressa Hunter, Langston’s dean of School of Nursing and Health Professions, gave a speech welcoming students and impressing on them that they were chosen for the program.  

“Earning a baccalaureate degree in nursing is one of the hardest degrees they will ever earn, but it is worth all the time and effort they will give toward this degree,” Hunter said. 

Classes have been underway for a week. The final class of ECU nursing students will graduate at the end of the semester. The two nursing schools are sharing labs and other amenities for the moment. UCSO President Peggy Maher said while the space might be a tad cramped, she’s glad to see the students on campus.  

“It does feel really good to have gotten through all of that and to actually be teaching students, which is what we all want to be doing,” Maher said. 

Admission for the program will open again next January. Maher said the university and the center are planning to bring more degree programs to the center in the future, based on survey data and what programs current students express interest in.

Langston currently offers upper level classes, the third and fourth year of the degree plan, and UCSO-based students take their first two years with another university, mainly Murray State College. 

“To obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, the students can take prerequisite classes at the University Center through MSC and then apply for acceptance to LU’s nursing program,” Anna Duran, the Ardmore site director for Langston, said. “Nursing courses are taken for four semesters leading to a professional career as an RN with a Bachelor’s degree.”