The University of St. Thomas will wrap up the inaugural semester of its accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program in Sugar Land in December.

The details

The program, which launched in Sugar Land in August, differs from a traditional BSN degree in that it can get prospective nurses through the bachelor program in 12 months—three semesters—compared to the three-year program, said Claudine Dufrene, the university’s executive dean and associate professor.

The hybrid course is built so students do all of their coursework online and their laboratory and clinicals in person, Dufrene said.

Director of Admissions Sara Johnson said via email that there are three pathways available for students:
  • Pre-ABSN: for students who are seeking their second degree to take their prerequisite coursework
  • Transfer ABSN: for students seeking their first degree who have 60 or more course credits
  • ABSN: for students who already have a bachelor's degree and are seeking a second degree
By the numbers

For the inaugural fall 2023 semester, 300 individuals applied to the private university's program and specified they wanted to attend the Sugar Land location, which is on the fifth floor of an office building off Commerce Green Boulevard. Of those, the university enrolled 148 new students, Johnson said.

Slightly more students—317 applicants—applied for the spring 2024 semester that begins in January, Johnson said. Around 110 will be enrolled, she said.

"Our market research indicated that there was a strong interest in the Sugar Land area,” Dufrene said. “We decided to open this site so that we could reach more students who are interested in nursing as a career.”

Why it matters

The university launched the program in August 2020 in Shenandoah because it wanted to fill the need for more registered nurses nationwide, Dufrene said. Texas' demand for nurses is projected to outpace the nursing supply through 2032, according to the Texas Department of Health Services.

“We are excited to say, we have educated 721 new nurses through our ABSN program since fall 2020,” Johnson said.

Next steps

The program—which has three locations in Shenandoah, Sugar Land and at the main campus—accepts new applicants for its August, January and May programs. The summer 2024 application period is open, and interested applicants should reach out to the university’s admissions department, Dufrene said.