Carroll Announces New Accelerated Nursing Program

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Carroll College Addresses Workforce Needs with New Accelerated Nursing Program

HELENA – Carroll College is pleased to announce the establishment of a new Accelerated Nursing program. On January 15, 2020, the Montana Board of Nursing approved the expansion of Carroll’s nursing program to include the new accelerated nursing option. The program is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree (in any field) and want to complete additional coursework required to become a licensed Registered Nurse. Accelerated Nursing students will graduate in 15 months with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Carroll College.

Building on Carroll College’s long legacy of excellence in nursing, the 15-month intensive program based in Helena includes coursework and clinical experiences designed to make graduates well prepared and immediately employable in one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. The program is scheduled to begin May 2020. Initiating this program allows Carroll to address the growing regional and national need for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (MTDLI), there are approximately 17,300 RNs in Montana with an estimated 14% of all RNs retiring in the next ten years.

“This is a historic time for Carroll College and for healthcare education in Montana,” said Carroll College President John Cech, PhD. “This new accelerated nursing program is the first of our recently developed Carroll College Health Professions initiatives. By adding our accelerated nursing program, we are responding to the needs of the workforce and the unprecedented demand for nurses in a creative way. Combining our reputation for providing an excellent nursing education for over 70 years with our new state-of-the-art facilities, Carroll is well-positioned to educate our future healthcare professionals.”

Rich Rasmussen, President and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association added, “Carroll College’s commitment to meeting the clinical workforce needs of Montana’s hospitals has taken a giant leap forward with the approval of its accelerated nursing program by the Board of Nursing.”

The post-baccalaureate accelerated nursing program will benefit from the new E. L. Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center at Carroll College. The center features three new state-of-the-art simulation labs with seven high fidelity patient simulator manikins and an observation room. The new facility promotes teaching and engaged learning through high-impact practice in a safe and realistic healthcare setting.

“We are grateful to the Montana Board of Nursing for granting approval of an accelerated nursing program at Carroll College,” said Nursing Department Chair Karmen Williams, RN, MSN. “This 15-month accelerated nursing program introduces a second pathway to obtain our baccalaureate nursing degree for those seeking a second degree.”

Carroll is currently accepting applications for admission into the Accelerated Nursing program to begin May 2020. Details on the application process can be found at Applications are due March 20, 2020. The planned completion date for the first cohort of twenty accelerated nursing graduates is August 2021. Carroll’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

“In the nursing world, we are celebrating 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse” in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday,” shared Williams. “We feel the Carroll nursing program has just received two gifts to celebrate! We are blessed to be able to celebrate the start of this program in May as well as enjoy our newly remodeled E. L Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center. We held our first nursing labs this week in this beautiful space and are very grateful to the E. L. Wiegand Foundation for their generous support of Phase I of our nursing floor remodel.”

Phase II of the remodel includes the Holistic Lab and nursing offices which are slated for completion in February. There will be an open house scheduled later in the semester for the community to view the new facility. For information on how to support this endeavor, please contact Michael McMahon, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at or (406) 447-5528.

To learn more about the Accelerated Nursing program at Carroll College and for information on admission requirements and how to apply, visit