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University of Providence planning nursing program expansion

University of Providence - Great Falls
University of Providence in Great Falls
University of Providence - Great Falls
Posted at 9:26 AM, May 02, 2022

GREAT FALLS - The University of Providence in Great Falls will be expanding its nursing program, bringing in a new state-of-the-art facility to campus.

Ric Oberholz, a former student of the university, recently donated $1.5 million dollars to the school, which will allow Providence to create opportunities for traditional-aged students to apply to a four-year nursing program.

This will be the first on-campus program for the university’s School of Health Professions.

The expansion will include a renovated lecture hall and a new nursing simulation lab, allowing students to get hands-on experience on campus.

Ric Oberholz

"The Sisters of Charity of Providence as I knew them as a kid played a very important piece of everyone's life in the Northwest, not just Great Falls, but benefited from it greatly. As a result of that, I knew, always, I wanted to say thank you some way or another,” Oberholz said.

"The very first school that the Sisters of Providence established in Great Falls was a school of nursing, so for us to kick off the 90th anniversary of the university by returning to our roots with the nursing program, it's very exciting for us,” said Provost Matthew Redinger.

The university currently has two nursing tracks: the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in Anchorage, Alaska, and Lewistown, Montana, which are designed to help those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field complete courses and gain clinical experience to prepare them for becoming a nurse; and an RN-to-BSN program for those who have a two-year nursing license, to complete their four-year degree.

“This gift is my way of paying forward my appreciation for all the efforts we all have enjoyed due to the vision of the Sisters of Providence and this wonderful campus,” said Oberholz.

The nursing program expansion is expected to launch in Fall 2023.