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ABSN Exceeds Expectations

Popular new nursing program in The Woodlands has a waiting list.


In fall 2020, UST took steps to fill needed nursing positions by welcoming its first cohort of Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree students in a state-of-the-art, interactive learning environment encompassing 19,811-square-foot located in Shenandoah, Texas, adjacent to hospitals that serve Montgomery County.

The initial demand for the ABSN program was overwhelming. Students who have a non-nursing degree in another field seized an opportunity to do big things in a new career caring for others by earning the degree in as few as 12 months. 

Currently, the program has 95 students enrolled, and the first cohort will graduate in August 2021. In addition, hundreds of prospective students are in the pipeline for a coveted spot in this field where job prospects are excellent and salaries are competitive.

“Our goal is to afford more people the opportunity to pursue their calling while filling the urgent need for nurses in our community and throughout the state,” Dr. Poldi Tschirch, dean of the University’s Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing, said.

Nursing students began the 12-month program at a new site, which includes simulation labs, a 12-bed clinical skills lab and two testing rooms. The site also includes a room that simulates a home health setting, along with a student lounge and administrative and faculty offices. All told, the space can accommodate up to 200 students.

“The ABSN Learning Center North’s state-of-the-art simulation lab provides students with opportunities to use the latest technology to develop clinical skills,” Tschirch said. “They will refine clinical judgment and decision making in a simulated environment to prepare for engagement with patients in clinical settings.”  

To learn more about the ABSN program, visit

About the Author — Sandra Soliz, MLA '01 Soliz

AvatarSandra Soliz, director of Communications for University of St. Thomas, has served the University for 20 years in Marketing Communications Department. In her position, she handles media relations and serves as the editor of the Encounter Magazine.

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