BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University School of Nursing added a new campus inside of WVU Medicine United Hospital Center in Bridgeport during their ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday.

Cutting the ribbon on WVU new Nursing Campus inside WVU Medicine UHC. (WBOY Image)

This new nursing program is designed to help fast-track nurses to become a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) using curriculum that’s tried and tested at the Morgantown campus.

The new campus offers state-of-the-art classrooms and skills labs right next to a clinical facility, and the program plans to graduate more nurses that officials say will help with the national nursing shortage.

“We really are trying to expand our footprint across the state and produce as many nurses as we can,” said Tara Hulsey, WVU School of Nursing Dean, “So, you know it’s another campus for us to have more students, to get more out, to graduate more nurses and hopefully incentivize them to stay in our state and at the bedside.”

Additionally, UHC donated $100,000 toward new furnishings and equipment for the brand new School of Nursing’s Bridgeport Campus.

With the addition of this new nursing campus at WVU Medicine UHC, the WVU School of Nursing now has five campuses students can choose from to further their education.

“Whenever you’re a teaching institution it makes everybody in the hospital better,” said Dr. David Hess, President and CEO, WVU Medicine UHC, “you go from being a great community hospital to being a great community hospital where all your nursing staff is wanting to go home and read at night to be able to train a new generation of nurses.”

The first nursing class starts on Jan. 9, 2023, and the new nursing program will graduate its first class of nurses in 18 months.