Two well known Ark-La-Tex institutions of higher education are joining forces to help relieve the shortage of nurses in our area.

Representatives from Centenary College and Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health (CONSAH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, September 5.

It will create a partnership that will assist Centenary students with preferred admission into NSU’s accelerated bachelor of science (BS) to Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree program.

The BSN Accelerated Curriculum (BAC) is an intense, fast-paced program that helps students achieve the BSN degree within four semesters.

“This agreement builds on Centenary’s strengths in the biological sciences and helps us provide an easy pathway for students to be able to pursue their passions,” said Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman during the signing ceremony.

“Collaborating with NSU is a great opportunity for us to serve the people of Louisiana and fill a really desperate need for nurses in our state," he added. "NSU is such an important part of our community, both in Shreveport and in Northwest Louisiana, and we are really grateful to be able to create this partnership.”

The agreement will provide academic advising to Centenary students about the BS to BSN (BAC) curriculum, assist Centenary students in the advising process to ease the transition between institutions, and provide a program leading to degree completion in 15 months.

Faculty and administrators from both Centenary and NSU will communicate regularly to ensure that the agreement is achieving its goals. The CONSAH and Centenary campuses are located just three miles apart in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood.

NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio underscored the quality of Centenary’s students, faculty, and administrators as he discussed the benefits of the new partnership, which was several years in the making.

“This is an exciting day,” said Maggio. “We know that you produce several wonderful graduates at Centenary who are well-prepared. We want to utilize these strengths and accelerate and streamline the process. There were a lot of moving parts to this, but we knew, at the core, that we had two outstanding institutions who were willing to help students and to help the healthcare profession.”

Centenary students interested in the BS to BSN (BAC) program must complete a bachelor of science degree in biology, chemistry, or a related science field and graduate with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must also complete all prerequisite courses for the BSN degree and pass all required entrance examinations with satisfactory scores.

“Centenary and NSU anchor the Highland neighborhood up and down Line Avenue, and we take our responsibility to our neighborhood and to the city of Shreveport very seriously,” said Holoman. “We are excited about how this plays into our goal, along with so many other people, of helping Shreveport grow and flourish.”