Mercy Hospital and Murray State College collaborate on new nursing program

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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Pender says starting Jan. 14 Ardmore's Mercy Hospital will be collaborating with Murray State College in a two-year program that will allow students to take classes at the hospital.

"They're going to get to do anything that they would do in any nursing program," Pender said. "So when they are learning about a skill, if it's starting an IV, they will get to go out and see real patients (and) talk to real patients."

Pender says They're kicking off the two-year program in January so students who start then will graduate with their associates degree in nursing in December 2020.

Flooding the market with new nurses during a the winter - a time of year that Pender says they see a shortage of new nurses.

"We look to see how do we increase the number of nurses we have across our hospital so when you look at our nursing needs, we need those December graduates," Pender said.

Right now the college accepts 40 nursing students at a time but the new program will bring in an additional 10 students during it's first year and then 20 students each year after that.

Ardmore Mercy Hospital is preparing for the students by rennovating the area where the classes will be held at.

"I know that there are always qualified students that we are not able to get in because of the numbers and to be able to take more students and graduate RN's is just a blessing," Deann Priddy said.

Deann Priddy, who is a Murray State College alum and has been an RN for 20 years says, she's looking forward to teaching the class that will bring more nurses to the floor.

"We want to be able to take of patients that need to be taken care of and with the nursing shortage that has become difficult and adding more programs like this will help us meet that need," Priddy said.

Applications for the program will open Sept. 1 until Oct. 10.
You can find more information about the program here:

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