AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After hosting classes in the facility for more than two months, officials with West Texas A&M University officially opened the Baptist Community Services Nursing Education Floor with a grand opening ceremony at the Harrington Academic Hall WTAMU Amarillo Center Wednesday morning.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, classes began at the facility on Aug. 23, placing 250 undergraduate bachelor of nursing students and approximately 20 nursing faculty and staff in downtown Amarillo. Officials from the university, including West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler, WT College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean J. Dirk Nelson and Holly Jefferys, the department head of the university’s nursing department, were on hand Wednesday for the grand opening.
“With our move to downtown Amarillo, our Department of Nursing will continue to provide excellent education for students at affordable costs to both students and the state, and our student nurses and faculty members will be more available to contribute to both the Amarillo-area health community and to the overall wellbeing of the Texas Panhandle,” Nelson said in the release.
According to the release, the university’s Department of Nursing provides approximately 70% of nurses employed throughout the Texas Panhandle. Graduates of the program have averaged a 97 percent score on the National Council Licensure Examination over the last five years, an exam which is required by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to test the competency of nursing school graduates in the United States and Canada.
“WT provides the most highly qualified healthcare professionals in the entire region, and with this new facility, we will increase our ability to meet regional needs, including in rural healthcare, as outlined in our long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World,” Wendler said in the release.