Above: A student from Texas Wesleyan’s Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia (GPNA) gets hands on training in the simulation lab.
The demand for health care professionals is not slowing down, and neither is Texas Wesleyan.
Texas Wesleyan is realigning its current health care professional programs to create the new School of Health Professions beginning Fall 2016. The new school paves the way for the development of a nurse practitioner program, which the university hopes to launch by Fall 2017.
Allen Henderson, senior vice president and provost, said that the new school is part of Texas Wesleyan’s 2020 Vision to grow its academic program offerings and will help fill a gap in the shortage of nurse practitioners in Texas.
“President Slabach and I met with CEOs from hospitals across North Texas to find out where they see a shortage in healthcare professionals,” Henderson said. “The resounding answer was ‘nurse practitioners’ because over the next 10 years, nurse practitioners are expected to start playing a major role in primary care delivery.”
The university has appointed Heidi Taylor, Ph.D., RN, as the new dean of the School of Health Professions. In addition to overseeing the university’s graduate nurse anesthesia program and graduate counseling program, Taylor will lead the university’s initiative in developing new healthcare professional programs, like the nurse practitioner degree.
Taylor has more than 26 years of experience in higher education. Previously, at West Texas A&M University, she served as a faculty member, division head for nursing, founding dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and founding associate vice president of learning outcomes. She is a board-certified nurse coach and holistic nurse.
“In a national search for a new dean, Heidi stood out among several highly-qualified candidates,” Allen said. “Her commitment to the improvement of health in society and deep understanding of higher education and teaching makes her an incredible asset to Texas Wesleyan students, faculty and staff.”