AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new nursing program is coming to Central Texas, and St. David’s HealthCare hopes it will help meet the demand for care.

The Galen College of Nursing located next to St. David’s Surgical Center in north Austin is welcoming its first round of nursing students in September.

The campus will be located at 1201 W. Louis Henna Blvd. and is designed to cultivate learning with advanced classroom and simulation technology mixed with collaborative and creative space, according to a St. David’s HealthCare release.

“The Galen School of Nursing is just one more opportunity,” said Sheila Fata, chief nursing executive with St. David’s.

  • Galen College of Nursing
  • Galen College of Nursing
  • Galen College of Nursing
  • Galen College of Nursing
  • Galen College of Nursing

It’s a necessary opportunity. Fata says we live in a community where population growth is outpacing qualified health care workers. On top of that, there are lots of programs in Central Texas, but sometimes the waitlist holds up students.

“That’s been a bottleneck issue in the past where there’re just not enough spaces for qualified individuals who want to be a nurse,” said Fata.

It’s played out at the University of Texas where students are lining up to become a nurse.

“In difficult times, enrollment actually grows in nursing,” said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the UT School of Nursing. “People think about their lives, and they think about the opportunity to make a contribution.”

It’s an interest St. David’s and the Galen program hope to grow quickly, too. The new campus next to St. David’s Surgical Hospital will open to 30 students at first and double shortly after.

“There are several ways of entering the nursing program by virtue of entering this particular campus,” said Fata.

The Austin campus will offer three programs, including:

  • Three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN)
  • Licensed Vocational Nursing to Associate Degree in Nursing Bridge (LVN to ADN Bridge)

The first term for the three-year BSN program will begin Sept. 30, and the first term for the LVN and LVN to BSN programs are scheduled to start Jan. 3.

Enrollment is currently in progress. In addition, Galen offers online RN to BSN and MSN programs for nurses wanting to advance their education in support of career growth and development.