Partnership Between RSU, Saint Francis Health System Recognized at OSRHE’s ‘Business Partnership Excellence Awards’ April 27

group of people posing for photo with award

Pictured: Regent Steven Taylor (from left); Regent Courtney Warmington; OSRHE Chancellor Allison Garrett; Keri Gerkin, director of education for Saint Francis; Dr. Carla Lynch, department head of Health Sciences at RSU; and Steve Valencia, vice president for development at RSU.


A partnership between Rogers State University and Saint Francis Health System was among 27 business and higher education partnerships throughout the state recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

Held April 27 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award ceremony highlighted successful partnerships between higher education institutions, businesses, and the community to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Institutions and businesses involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials, or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

Through the partnership with Saint Francis Health System, students in Rogers State University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program are able to complete the required number of clinical hours in a variety of health care settings. Saint Francis works with RSU nursing students, who complete all clinical experiences at a Saint Francis facility. Approximately 30 percent of RSU nursing program graduates work for Saint Francis after graduation.

In April, RSU and Saint Francis Health System announced a partnership to educate nursing students at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, with the first cohort beginning in August. Saint Francis will serve as an extended campus of RSU, and Rogers State University will award the Bachelor of Science in Nursing upon students’ graduation.

The extended campus will open in fall 2023 for students who have been accepted into the Rogers State University nursing program. Applications for the spring 2024 semester opened April 1.

In 2022, Saint Francis sponsored the RSU Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event, providing thousands of dollars in scholarships for students. Many students receive scholarships to help them achieve their goal of earning a BSN and entering the nursing profession.

“We are grateful to recognize Saint Francis Health system as a valuable partner for Rogers State University,” said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU president. “Whether through hosting our nursing students for clinical rotations, hiring our graduates, sponsoring RSU events, or the recent announcement of an extended campus for RSU’s BSN program at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, they have become a tremendous partner for Rogers State University.

“The future is bright at RSU and our partnership with Saint Francis Health System is helping to make that future even brighter,” he said.

For more information about the BSN program at RSU, visit For more information about the RSU Nursing at Saint Francis extended campus and earning a BSN at this extended campus location in Tulsa, visit

For more information about RBPEA and this year’s partnerships, visit