NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's School of Nursing has chosen Mary Pack as coordinator of the School of Nursing extension program at Rusk State Hospital.
The program will give students in East Texas the opportunity to take nursing classes closer to home, allowing the university to educate a greater number of nurses.
Currently, the SFA nursing program accepts 60 students each semester. The Rusk extension will allow 24 additional slots in a two-year pilot program in order to better meet the demand for more nurses in East Texas.
"Mary Pack has many years of experience and holds a tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge in the field of nursing. She was the logical choice for the position," said Dr. Glenda Walker, director of the SFA School of Nursing.
SFA's nursing program is nationally accredited, providing nurses with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from SFA the needed credentials to get a job in most states.
Prior to announcing the program, the school of nursing conducted a feasibility study to gauge the amount of interest and need in the area. The study found that East Texas would benefit greatly from the proposed plan.
Many students need accessibility to a college education," Pack said. "The program will facilitate a larger area and will be an enhancement for SFA."
The program is expected to begin in January 2009 at the education building on the Rusk State Hospital campus.
"The lectures will be transmitted over a T-1 line, which enables students at the Rusk campus to watch the same lecture taught at the SFA campus," Pack said.
Pack has been a registered nurse for 46 years and has held a wide variety of positions in the nursing profession.
"This is an exciting time for nursing, and we are working hard to get this program off the ground."
Openings for the program are available now. Anyone interested in applying for the program may contact Mary Pack at (936) 468-1679.