FVSU teams with Peach hospital authority to start nursing program

FORT VALLEY — Fort Valley State University is taking steps to tackle the nation’s nursing shortage by requesting a new nursing program at the institution.

In its quest to seek approval from the Georgia Board of Regents, FVSU is partnering with the Peach County Hospital Authority to develop the program. Wednesday morning marked the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the university and hospital authority. That document is expected to boost the prospects of the university getting approval for the program and the hospital getting funding for a new facility.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Peach Regional Medical Center administrator Nancy Peed said.

Through the agreement, the university would lease or purchase property at the current hospital site for clinical training if approved by the Board of Regents and Georgia Board of Nursing. The hospital authority is seeking financing for the construction of a new $25 million facility off the Ga. 247 Connector. The university also would have access to the new site.

Tom Green, chairman of the Peach hospital authority, said having a partnership relieves some pressure on the authority.

“The hospital finally has an answer to ‘What are you going to do with this facility when you move?’ ” Green said.

The program would include a core nursing curriculum as well as specialties in the emergency room, operating room and critical care. In addition, there would be a focus on rural health issues, Peed said.

Officials from the hospital and university Wednesday touted the benefits of students getting real-life experiences at the facility.

“These students are going to be able to go out in the rural communities and rural hospitals and be better prepared,” Green said.

Fort Valley Mayor John Stumbo said the move is important for the city because it shows its dedication to FVSU.

“We need to be able to accommodate this university,” Stumbo said. “This is our school.”

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.