Missouri Western established a new School of Nursing and Health Professions in February.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions will be housed within the College of Professional Studies and will be led by an associate dean. The School will include Missouri Western’s master’s degree programs in nursing and undergraduate programs for nursing, health information management, physical therapist assistant and the new population health management degree, established by a gift from Mosaic Life Care. Of the five programs in the new school, four have achieved national program accreditation. Because the population health management program is unique, there is currently not an opportunity for accreditation.

“Our health-related programs are extremely well respected and warrant a ‘school’ designation,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “The change recognizes the important role these programs have at Missouri Western, and will enhance the already strong external relationships our nursing and health professions programs have with Mosaic Life Care and other health industry organizations.”

Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs, noted that the number of faculty, students, and graduates annually from programs in the existing Department of Nursing and Allied Health are similar to the numbers in the current Craig School of Business and the School of Fine Arts.

Dr. Kathleen O’Connor, dean of professional studies, says the programs in the School of Nursing and Health Professions are complex and require extensive management.

“School designation will help us recruit an effective leader for the associate dean position who can provide strong oversight of the student admissions processes, regulatory expectations, clinical affiliations, and other factors that make these programs unique,” Dr. O’Connor said.

The search for the first associate dean of nursing and health professions was expected to begin immediately.