The Montana University System Board of Regents are expected to vote today on a proposed baccalaureate nursing program in Billings, and program backers turned out Wednesday to support it.  Referred to as an “RN to BSN Completion Program,” the proposal aims to ease the transition for students who complete the associate degree coursework for nursing through City College.  That program graduates about 40 students per year.
Supporters of the proposal who spoke Wednesday included nursing directors from Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare, St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, the county health administrator and CEO of RiverStone Health.  They believe Billings would benefit from a potential MSUB bachelor’s degree program in nursing.  The nurses can get an education locally, which helps provide a labor pool of more qualified nurses for area hospitals.  The baccalaureate program would be a 49-credit online program that builds on the associate program through MSUB’s main campus.