August 16, 2007

RSU and BDC Team Up to Create Jobs and Impact Economy

The Board of Directors of the Bartlesville Development Corporation (BDC) approved a request from the Rogers State University campus to aid in the funding of the development of a nursing program. The loan/grant approved by the BDC Board of Directors in the amount of $207,000 must be approved by the Bartlesville City Council where it will be presented at their Monday night regular meeting.

In their request to the BDC, RSU pledged that the new program will provide area residents a better opportunity to pursue nursing careers and it would provide enhanced opportunities for local LPNs and paramedics to expand their training at a public education institution. It should also expand healthcare services by providing adequate nursing staffing for local physicians. The grant/loan will also help RSU expand its presence as an anchor for the redevelopment of downtown Bartlesville. In fulfilling requirements set forth by the BDC Board, RSU has pledged that the new, expanded nursing program will add at least 189 new jobs to the Bartlesville economy and generate a first year economic impact to the community of $2.4 to $3.5 million.

According to Jim Fram, President of the BDC, “if approved by the City Council, this incentive will be set up similar to others we have initiated over the years as a loan that accrues interest that can be converted to a grant if all the elements of the pledge are realized in the agreed time period.”

Jane Phillips Medical Center has already pledged to the new program in the amount of $240,000 to partner with RSU’s investment of $222,800 and the BDC loan/grant. The new nursing program will begin as soon as funding is in place.

Rogers State University Provost Bill Beierschmitt stated, “this is a unique opportunity for a partnership between Jane Phillips Medical Center, the City of Bartlesville, and RSU to not only impact the local economy in a very positive way, but to also further educational opportunities for citizens both in the workforce and for students looking to expand their healthcare education.”

The RSU Nursing program is recognized as one of the most academically rigorous in Oklahoma. RSU Nursing students score higher on the Registered Nurse Licensure examination than most graduates of programs from any other college or university. In 2006 the pass rate of RSU nursing graduates (2 year program) was 97%, compared to the state average of 89% and a national average of 88%.