Students wishing to pursue a four-year nursing degree will soon be able to do so at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey. The college recently announced it has received approval to add a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program to its curriculum.

Pending approval from the Washington Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, the program can begin accepting students this fall.

“We are excited about creating a pre-licensure BSN program at Saint Martin’s. The program will serve a critical need for nurses locally. We also anticipate BSN students from Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Islands, so our BSN graduates will fill a need outside the local area as well,” said Teri Moser Woo, Ph.D., director of nursing at Saint Martin’s.

With the addition of the new program, Saint Martin’s said it will become the only school to offer traditional BSN degrees between Tacoma and Portland. (Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma does offer the degree.)

For the first year of the program, 25 students will be admitted. Starting in 2020, upper division transfer students will be accepted as well.

The existing nursing programs at Saint Martin’s were given a boost over the summer, when the university obtained nursing equipment in an auction from St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma, which shut down in 2017 due to financial troubles.

“Acquiring St. Gregory’s nursing lab equipment will allow us to move forward with our plan to have state-of-the-art nursing learning labs here on campus,” said Woo. “The nursing program at St. Gregory’s was new and only two cohorts of students had used the equipment, which includes teaching models and equipment for students to learn skills, as well as hospital beds, a baby warmer and cribs, IV equipment and more.”

The BSN isn’t the only program to be added this fall. Saint Martin’s also received permission to add a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts in exercise science, for students seeking careers as sports managers, athletic coaches, fitness trainers, physical therapists, and more.