Peru State, UNMC expand Rural Health Opportunities Program for nursing

Initiative addresses rural nursing shortage

(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) today announced that their partnership in the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) has expanded to include four seats in nursing. Peru State has offered three seats in UNMC’s pharmacy program since 2012.

RHOP, which began in 1989, is designed to address the special needs of rural Nebraska by encouraging rural residents to pursue health care careers.

The agreement between the colleges will allow up to two eligible students to be accepted into the Lincoln division of the UNMC College of Nursing and up to two in the Omaha Division for a total of four students annually.

President Dan Hanson said, “The Rural Health Opportunities Program is an important commitment to rural health care by UNMC. Peru State is proud to be a part of this prestigious program, which not only benefits our students but all of southeast Nebraska. The quality and strength of our science program and our faculty, as well as the support of area health care providers, have been instrumental in securing these nursing RHOP seats. We look forward to building an even stronger relationship with UNMC and bringing more RHOP seats in more health care fields to southeast Nebraska.”

Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing, said expanding access to nursing education at Peru State College is an important approach to eliminating the shortage of registered nurses in rural parts of Nebraska. “We thank Peru State College for their dedication to making these educational opportunities available to students and look forward to working with their faculty, staff and students on this important new initiative,” she said.

Students must meet the following criteria to be accepted for admittance into the nursing RHOP:

Minimum 3.2 high school grade point average and score of 24 or higher on the ACT or 1270 or higher on the SAT.

Must be from a rural area defined as living outside an “Urbanized Area” as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau (less than 50,000 people).

Graduate of a Nebraska High School.

Committed to practicing in rural Nebraska.

If selected, students will receive a full tuition waiver while enrolled at Peru State and acceptance into the UNMC College of Nursing. Students also must maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average.

Applications for the 2014 school year are available at www.peru.edu/rhop. The deadline for applications is Dec. 1. Students will be notified the following spring if they are accepted into the program.

For more information about the RHOP program, visit www.unmc.edu/rhop

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

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Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190