GSU rallies supporters to re-establish shuttered undergraduate nursing program

Don Bray / US Navy / MGN

GRAMBLING, La. (GSU) - Grambling State University’s undergraduate nursing program has been placed on the February 23rd University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors meeting agenda. It is the first step of GSU President Rick Gallot’s effort to re-establish the program by fall 2018.

As a part of preparing for the board meeting, Gallot is asking Grambling State alumni, faculty, staff, students, supporters and stakeholders to provide letters and notes endorsing and supporting the return of the institution’s undergraduate program.

He asks that letters and notes be addressed to him and attached to emails sent to gsunursing@gram.edu no later than Tuesday (Feb. 21) so the university can compile a nursing support package in advance of the meeting.

“If you care about the GSU undergraduate program, and if you think we should bring it back to our campus, we need you to say so, in writing, so we can have a clear indication of support for this effort,” said Gallot. “We cannot do this alone. We must have the support of the UL system and others.”

Gallot noted upon the UL board approving the request, the matter then goes to the Louisiana Board of Regents for consideration. The president asks that GSU nursing program supporters use the #GSUNursing hashtag on social media through Feb. 21 as another way to express support and to provide evidence and reasons the program should be re-instated.

In addition, supporters are being asked to add their signatures to an online petition found at: http://bit.ly/2knLAww. There is also a link in the "Related Links" of this story.

In June 2015, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN) withdrew its conditional approval of the program and GSU could not enroll undergraduate nursing students or offer nursing courses after the board determined that the institution was struggling to maintain passing grades for the state-required nursing exam since 2010.

In August 2015, the ULS board approved a request for exigency through summer 2016, giving the university the opportunity to terminate existing nursing faculty since there were no undergraduate nursing courses being taught. In December 2015, the undergraduate program was closed.

In August 2016 when Gallot assumed the presidency as the institution’s 10th president, he made returning the nursing program one of his highest priorities, targeting a fall 2018 opening of a totally new undergraduate nursing program.

Under the leadership of Meg Brown, interim associate dean and an associate professor of nursing, the university has resolved open financial exigency issues, evaluated the previous undergraduate nursing program’s strengths and barriers and assessed available nursing program data to establish the need to re-establish the program.

In addition, the proposed undergraduate nursing curriculum was developed with the assistance of faculty in the School of Nursing and the College of Education, Professional and Graduate Studies as well as the university curriculum committees.

Gallot and Brown worked in tandem to determine what was needed and required, discussing options with a host of university stakeholders as well as Louisiana stakeholders, developing a five-year budget plan and determining the available resources to start the new program.

“This has been a challenging and difficult period for nursing, but we took it as an opportunity to make our program much better and we’re ready to proceed,” said Brown. “We are confident that what we have pulled together will produce academic scholars and nurse clinicians that we need in Lincoln Parish, northern Louisiana and across the United States.”

The undergraduate and graduate nursing programs have maintained national accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), and the school’s master’s in nursing is accredited through 2020. The accreditation includes the graduate Master of Science in Nursing programs and the Post Master’s Certificate program.

Those wanting to support the new nursing program are asked to address correspondence to:
Richard J. Gallot Jr., J.D.
President
Grambling State University
403 Main Street
Grambling, Louisiana 71245

Please attach letters and notes to emails and send them to gsunursing@gram.edu.