STATE NURSING BOARD APPROVES GSU NURSING PLAN

STATE NURSING BOARD APPROVES GSU NURSING PLAN
University leaders express joy, say more hard work remains

By WILL SUTTON / GSU Media Bureau

GSU Associate Dean of Nursing, Dr. Meg Brown and GSU President Rick Gallot

GSU Associate Dean of Nursing, Dr. Meg Brown and GSU President Rick Gallot

With a unanimous decision, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing approved Grambling State University’s plans for a new undergraduate nursing program, pending a Louisiana Board of Regents meeting. If all goes well, the program would start in fall 2018.

“This is what we have worked hard for these last several months,” said Meg Brown, associate dean of nursing in the university’s College of Professional Studies. “The work to get to this stage has been the process required by the state of Louisiana.” Now, she said, “the work of building the program starts.”

Though the nursing board voted to support the new program, the board requires full approval from the Regents, and the Regents approved the program pending support from the nursing board. GSU must return to the Regents to get final approval, then the nursing board will allow Grambling State to move forward with the process. That is expected to be a formality.

Nursing board members said the plans for the planned stringent, academically-rigorous program is what GSU needs. As developed and proposed in the approved letter of intent, the school’s new undergraduate nursing program would require specific preliminary general education and other courses and a strong academic history before a student could be admitted as a nursing major. The board, meeting at the Louisiana State University Lod Cook Alumni Center on the LSU campus, urged Brown and GSU President Rick Gallot to continue the good work to get the new program in place.

In essence, the board determined that GSU is well-positioned to move forward with plans for the program for the first full step of a multiple-step process. The board’s action authorizes the university to move to another important step — identifying and hiring faculty and preparing, putting curriculum changes in place and establishing regulations and rules before marketing the program. After successfully implementing the next set of actions, the institution hopes to be positioned by spring 2018 to promote a new undergraduate program and recruit students for its first cohort of 30 students for the program to start in fall 2018.

“We’re happy to see you moving forward,” board president Laura Bonanno told Brown and GSU President Rick Gallot as they sat at a table in front of the board. She said the board was excited that Gallot had taken the position as president in August 2016 and that he made the undergraduate nursing program a priority.

Board member Tavell Kindall made a point of saying that he is a two-time GSU nursing program graduate. Kindall, a board-certified family nurse practitioner who earned a doctorate in nursing practice, works at the Greater Ouachita Coalition Providing AIDS Resources and Education (GOCARE) in West Monroe, Louisiana.

“This was an important next step,” said Gallot. “Dr. Brown has done a fantastic job preparing for today, and because of her work we are well positioned to proceed to do what needs to be done to make this happen.”

Ellen Smiley, GSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, is looking forward to the next set of actions as she works with Brown and others to determine the characteristics and qualities needed as undergraduate nursing faculty and staff are identified. “Putting together a team with the right set of values and a commitment to make this program successful is going to be critical,” she said. “We have high expectations for the program, and therefore we have high expectations for the people we choose to be a part of building this undergraduate foundation.”

Gallot, whose wife, Christy Gallot, is a nurse with three nursing degrees from GSU’s nursing program, said it means a lot to the university’s first lady and fellow nursing alumni to have a strong nursing program and he’s committed to making that happen.

“We didn’t come this far to stumble and fall,” he added. “We’re going to work with Dr. Brown to make sure that her nursing vision leads not only to the implementation of this program but to developing scores of successful nurses practicing across northern Louisiana, this state and this nation.”

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