Now that Langston University’s nursing classes have come to the University Center of Southern Oklahoma, the university is hoping to bring in as many students as possible.
The program began this semester with 14 students, but Dorothy Varner, a recruiter advisor for Langston, said she hopes to have 54 from Ardmore and surrounding areas in fall of 2020.
“We want to grow the program,” Varner said. “It just depends on me getting out here and recruiting the students, bringing them in and making them aware we’re here. I think right now our biggest hurdle is that people don’t know we’re here.”
She said the lack of student housing in Ardmore poses another barrier for students, though for students within a 50 mile radius, it’s less of a concern.
“It just depends on where students are coming from,” she said. “As the program grows, that’s something we need to look at.”
On Tuesday night, Varner led a tour group through the University Center’s nursing facilities and held a workshop explaining how to apply for the program. She said the information session was intended to answer questions applicants might have early in the process.
“Even here in Ardmore, Murray State has their program, we have our program, and East Central had their program this whole time, but still we’re short on nurses,” Varner said to the group of visitors. “We just can’t get enough people.”
Varner covered the difference between associate’s and bachelor’s nursing degrees and explained that students would have to take prerequisites before they could apply. Students who do apply will need to take those prerequisites through Murray State College.
Varner said the program typically needs the total number of students to a multiple of eight, so they can be split into even groups for labs and clinicals. Varner said most of the students currently in the program aren’t from Ardmore originally.
“A lot of them came from surrounding areas,” Varner said. “A lot of the students are from communities around Ardmore.”