The ACU Nursing Department is planning to move its program to campus after having classes at the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing for more than 30 years.
The university decided to leave Patty Hanks to create its own nursing program. ACU has been associated with the Patty Hanks since 1978, but beginning in 2013, all incoming ACU nursing majors will take courses on campus rather than travel to Patty Hanks near Hendrick Medical Center on Hickory Street. The students who are already taking classes at Patty Hanks will continue to do so.
Patty Hanks educates students from ACU, Hardin-Simmons and McMurry. ACU students make up about one third of the students there.
Dr. Susan Kehl, associate professor of nursing, worked at Patty Hanks as a faculty member for seven years.
“The Patty Hanks is a fine program,” Kehl said. “ACU decided to start its own program because I think we can align it with the 21-century vision ACU has taken.”
Where the nursing program will operate on campus is still a mystery. The Zona Luce Building has been suspected as a possible location for the program, but the university has not planned to use Zona Luce or any other building on campus for the program yet, according to Kehl.
Rachel Johnson, junior nursing major from Birmingham, Ala., likes taking all her nursing classes at the Patty Hanks. Johnson doesn’t know why the university decided to leave the Patty Hanks.
“There’s a great program at the Patty Hanks,” Johnson said. “We all like it over there, and there are great pass rates.”
Johnson said she does not believe the absence of ACU students will affect Patty Hanks negatively. Johnson said there are plenty of students taking classes from HSU and McMurry to keep a strong program running at Patty Hanks. But Johnson is not so optimistic about future ACU nursing students under the new plan.
“I personally wouldn’t want to go to a nursing program that is just starting out on its own,” Johnson said.