University of Montevallo to launch nursing program next semester

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Following renovations and a ribbon cutting held at Myrick Hall in February to celebrate the completion of its new nursing facilities, the University of Montevallo has now announced that it will launch its nursing program at the start of the 2024 fall semester.

UM is set to start its new nursing program in the now established College of Health Professions this August alongside the start of the school semester. The program received official approval from the Alabama Board of Nursing on May 17 and will offer a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science and Nursing track and a Registered Nurse to BSN track for students.

Renovations to Myrick Hall, which were completed last August, included the installation of a simulation and skills lab, two patient simulation rooms, two observation rooms, two classrooms and a nurses’ station. More applications and upgrades to the facility are expected to be completed this July prior to the start of the school semester.

“We are delighted to launch our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and look forward to welcoming our inaugural group of nursing students this August,” said Dr. Crystal Bennett, Dean of the College of Health Professions.”

Bennett joins UM from the University of West Florida, where she served as the director of the School of Nursing since July 2021, and as an assistant professor of clinical practice since May, 2020.

Bennett also has a son that is currently a Montevallo student and has previously expressed that she was impressed by the university when he first came for a visit. She has also expressed her desire to come to a place that is “uniquely small,” a trait that she says the university should be proud of.

“Nursing is absolutely rooted in the arts,” Bennett said. “We are part of a caring science profession. You can have all the skills in the world, but you have to care. You have to truly have a heart to give to others and meet them where they are, at the beginning of life and at the end of life. It’s truly an honor to be in a profession where we can experience both.”

According to Courtney Bentley, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at UM, faculty have been working to expand programs in health professions and grow existing hallmark programs that have long thrived on campus.

“We are thrilled to now support the preparation of nurse leaders in central Alabama,” Bentley said. “We are confident that our nursing graduates will positively impact their home communities by providing high quality health care underscored by an ethic of care predicated on interprofessional learning and clinical competency.”

Increased demand for health care professionals, coupled with challenges coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted an opportunity for the university to address the need for more nurses and provide support for the future of the profession in the state of Alabama.

The pre-licensure BSN track of the program is for students who are not already licensed registered nurses, and will prepare students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-RN after graduation. Students will learn to apply their classroom studies to their nursing professional practice with the help of dedicated faculty with small class sizes.

Students will also have opportunities to engage in simulation lab experiences and complete their clinical experiences at hospitals, clinics and various community agencies in the surrounding area.

“This is an exciting time for Montevallo and our health care community,” said Holly Dean, CEO of Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster. “Montevallo has worked hard to make this program a reality to meet the needs of our community, and we are so excited to be part of that journey. It will be amazing to see aspiring nurses fulfill their dreams at Montevallo and we are hopeful many will join our team at Shelby going forward.”

UM’s pre-licensure BSN program is a specialized admission program, which means admission to UM does not guarantee admission to the Nursing Program. Applicants must first be admitted to UM through the Office of Admissions prior to applying to the BSN program. Applications for the pre-licensure track will begin in early June and remain open through July 8.

The RN to BSN track is for students who are licensed in Alabama as a registered nurse and have their associate’s degree in nursing. The baccalaureate curriculum is designed to prepare students for work within the growing and changing health care environment. The program is a three-semester hybrid format with required integrated clinical practice experiences that may be completed in approved clinical sites in the student’s community. To apply for the RN to BSN program, applicants must apply to the University of Montevallo Undergraduate Admissions office.

The College of Health Professions, approved by the UM Board of Trustees during its quarterly meeting May 1, will also house existing programs and departments at UM. The Exercise and Nutrition Science Program will move to the new college with the Nursing Program at the beginning of the 2024-2025 academic year. The Social Work Program and Department of Communication Science and Disorders will join the new college beginning with the 2025-2026 academic year.

Those seeking to learn more about the nursing program are encouraged to visit for more information.