UH-Sugar Land nursing program renamed as college



luhogoA program of the University of Houston—Sugar Land is getting a rebranding this week. The School of Nursing officially becomes the College of Nursing on Thursday, college officials said.

Dean Kathryn Tart said the name change comes with increased prestige for its programs and brings nursing in line with other academic disciplines housed in “colleges” within the UH system. However, she said the College of Nursing would offer the same courses as the School of Nursing, which has 142 students enrolled for the spring 2017 semester.

The name change will afford more fundraising opportunities, Tart said.

“We are very interested in moving forward with doctoral education,” she said. “Now we have a wonderful opportunity for naming [of] endowments and professorships.”

For undergraduates, the college offers a registered nurse-to-bachelor’s of nursing degree program and a second degree bachelor’s of nursing degree program. Masters' degrees for nursing education, nurse administration and family nurse practitioners are also available.

Tart said the profession needs more nursing faculty as well as nurses working in the field, and faculty must have at least a master’s degree.

“We do need more nurse educators so that we can admit more students into our programs,” she said.

She agreed with assessments from area hospital administrators in February that Texas is experiencing a shortage of nurses, like other parts of the country. She said the shortage is caused by several factors, including the aging baby boomer population that needs increased care.

“Nursing is predominantly a woman’s profession,” she said regarding reasons for the shortage, “and women have a lot more options now job-wise.”

Increasing the diversity of nurses and nursing students is an objective for the college, Tart said.

“We want our nurses, both male and female, to look like the population we serve,” she said. “You’ll always have a job as ... a nurse with a bachelor’s degree.”