The Department of Education has approved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Ponce Health Sciences University. PHSU, located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, offers training in Medicine, Clinical Psychology, Biomedical Sciences, and Public Health. The university is known for research in these fields, and the nursing program will give students an opportunity to participate in this research.
The Research Institute at PHSU boasts almost a dozen different laboratories focusing on issues ranging from cancer to diabetes and HIV to endometriosis, as well as innovative research partnerships. The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program supports underrepresented populations in medical research. A partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, seeks to eliminate health care disparities for Hispanics suffering from cancer. A focus on improving outcomes for underserved populations is visible throughout the programs at PHSU.
Students from the States often choose to study in Puerto Rico in medical fields. The cost is often very competitive with their local institutions. PHSU’s nursing program is designed to be completed in just three years, and there are discounts for the first year’s students. Students can expect to be prepared for the NCLEX nursing examination, required for licensure in the U.S. Attracting students from outside of Puerto Rico could help bring much-needed funds into Puerto Rico.
The new nursing program may help with Puerto Rico’s ongoing problem of dwindling numbers of healthcare professionals on the Island. It may also provide Puerto Rican students with skills that are highly desirable in the States. Many mainland-U.S. hospitals have been recruiting nurses from Puerto Rico for years, as a shortage of nurses develops in many states.
All in all, the new nursing program looks like good news for Puerto Rico.
The university is confident that the upcoming plebiscite will not have an effect on the nursing program.