University of the Incarnate Word, Orbis Education to Launch Accelerated Nursing Program

New program to expand education opportunities, fill the dire need for nurses

University of the Incarnate Word is partnering with Orbis Education on an accelerated bachelor’s degree program to address the nursing shortage in San Antonio and throughout Texas.

Through a hybrid learning model that combines an interactive e-learning platform and state-of-the-art simulations with clinical rotations at top local hospitals, students can earn a degree in as little as 16 months.

The partnership will enable us to arm the next generation of students with the skills they need to fill positions in demand,” said Holly Cassells, professor and interim dean of the university’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professionals. “What’s more, the program aligns the missions of our hospitals and other healthcare providers with the mission of the university to improve opportunities for our city as a whole.”

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis notes that Texas is second only to California as states hardest hit by the nursing shortage. By 2030, the number of unfilled registered nurse positions will swell to 60,000, based on projections by the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies.

In greater San Antonio, there are approximately 1,300 live postings for open positions for registered nurses.

But while the need for nurses is well-documented, thousands of students are turned away from colleges and universities whose programs are at capacity.

“As recently as 2016, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses estimated that more than 64,000 qualified students were turned away from nursing education programs that were already at capacity,” said Daniel Briggs, founder and CEO of Orbis Education. “The new accelerated BSN program will enable the university to work hand in hand with local health providers to plan for their workforce needs and then deliver a pipeline of talented, work-ready nurses.”

Cassells said that although accelerated, the program curriculum, learning objectives and outcomes mirror the university’s traditional BSN program.

There will be three start dates per year, beginning in the fall of 2020. Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of nursing. Transfer students and those in advanced standing also are eligible for the program.

For more information, visit

About University of the Incarnate Word
With nearly 140 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. UIW programs constitute a liberal education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. Founded in 1881, UIW is the largest Catholic university in the state and the fourth largest private university in Texas. UIW students can choose from degrees offered at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The University is committed to graduating students with the lowest amount of debt load possible and to help them secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities. With a beautiful main campus in the heart of San Antonio, in 2019, UIW purchased a 10-acre landmark property at 4119 Broadway which increased the footprint of the UIW Broadway Campus by 20%. The building is now known as Founders Hall.  UIW has locations throughout San Antonio, South and Central Texas, two campuses in Mexico and European Study Centers in Heidelberg, Germany and Strasbourg, France.  UIW is a leader in international education, with over 146 “sister schools” in 45 countries. The University is a member of the NCAA Division I Southland Conference and is proud to have 23 teams representing 14 different sports. UIW is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

About Orbis Education
Orbis Education Services develops, markets and manages healthcare education solutions that result in outstanding student outcomes and help alleviate workforce shortages for hospitals and healthcare systems. Founded in 2003, the company forms strategic partnerships with academic institutions and healthcare systems to enable the delivery of high-quality, clinically intensive nursing, occupational therapy and other healthcare education programs. Orbis Education is a subsidiary of Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE), a publicly traded shared services partner dedicated to serving colleges and universities. For more information, visit

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