The Nursing Department at The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has been gifted $1.1 million from CHI St. Vincent

CHI St. Vincent is a regional health network serving central and southwest Arkansas since 1888 with the mission of improving the public’s health while advancing social justice for all. They have generously donated money to UAPB to address the nation’s nursing shortage.

According to the university, they have signed an agreement with the health network for a five-year recruitment, educational, and training partnership that supports the CHI St. Vincent Nursing Pathway Program.

The partnership will provide the UAPB Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program with:

  • Student educational and financial support and faculty professional development.
  • 21st Century onsite medical training.
  • Funding to help recruit and place the next generation of registered nurses.

According to UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander, the collaboration addresses the shortage in the profession faced by nursing programs and medical institutions across the nation. “UAPB has been on the front lines in preparing nurses for the changing demographics and cultural shifts of the profession,” said Alexander. “We are uniquely prepared to recruit and train nurses who can immediately impact their communities.”

The partnership allows UAPB to serve as a logical training point for nurses and medical professionals.

The university will work with CHI St. Vincent to provide hands-on internships and job placements for student nurses who advance through the program.

VeLois Bowers, Owner and Principal Consultant, VHB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consulting Firm and UAPB alumnus, assisted in facilitating the partnership.

“As a proud alumnus of UAPB, I’ve always felt a strong commitment to reach out to my corporate relationships and share the incredible talent UAPB produces. And like CHI St. Vincent, the responses have been amazing. This partnership is an example of what the future holds for creating the diverse pipeline of talent organizations like CHI St. Vincent are looking to obtain,” stated Bowers.

The gift will also help the university expand talent and research opportunities into the nursing program. According to Diann Williams, MSN, RN, CNE, Associate Professor, and Chair of the Department of Nursing, this grant will bolster UAPB in a competitive market, enabling the program to recruit and retain highly qualified nursing faculty with advanced degrees.

“This opportunity is an educational game-changer for our nursing program,” said Williams.

“As we prepare the next generation of skilled nursing professionals, it is encouraging to know that UAPB will have these real-time learning resources for our students.

– Diann Williams, UAPB Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing

According to CHI St. Vincent Market CEO Chad Aduddell, the collaboration represents a logical partnership between the two institutions. “CHI St. Vincent has a historical mission of compassionately serving the communities in which we work. Given the rich legacy of UAPB and its impact on the state, it’s only natural that the two institutions would create such a partnership.”