TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Responding to student requests and community needs, Washington State University Tri-Cities will offer its first graduate-level nursing courses when classes start in late August.

“We’ve had 50 potential students petition us to begin these classes here,” says Larry James, dean and campus executive officer at WSU Tri-Cities. Until now, students who wanted the courses have had to travel to the WSU/Yakima Valley Community College Nursing Center in Yakima.

That changes Aug. 27, when the Richland campus begins offering such graduate courses as “Advanced Pharmacological Concepts and Practice,” “Role Analysis: Advanced Practice” and “Psychology/Mental Health Advanced Practice.” All together, WSU Tri-Cities will offer seven graduate nursing courses this fall, with more planned for this spring.

WSU Tri-Cities also is advertising for a nursing program coordinator, a job that will be responsible for overseeing the program and working with nursing professionals throughout the mid-Columbia region.

“We’re preparing all the paperwork to get the program through the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board so we can offer the master of nursing degree in the Tri-Cities,” said James.

The new graduate courses are in addition to the bachelor of science in nursing degree WSU Tri-Cities has offered students since the campus was established in 1989.

“There’s a tremendous need for master’s-level nurses in the Tri-Cities,” says Donna Campbell, Columbia Basin College’s interim vice president for instruction and longtime nursing educator. “Nurses with master’s degrees are needed by all the area’s health care facilities as nurse practitioners and as faculty for the nursing program here at CBC.”

Pointing to the challenges the two-year college faces in recruiting nursing faculty with master’s degrees, Campbell says, “the last four nursing faculty we’ve hired at CBC have been supported by the college in pursing their master’s at the Yakima program, driving back and forth for the classes.”

More information on the new WSU Tri-Cities courses is available on the campus Web site at www.tricity.wsu.edu. Interested students also can contact Chris Carter at 509/372-7306.

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