Carroll Joins Forces with UIW to Offer Graduate Education in Nursing Leadership

Thursday, August 2, 2018

HELENA, MT – Carroll College, in collaboration with the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, TX, is excited to announce a new distance learning graduate education opportunity for Montana nurses interested in acquiring a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership.

This pilot program between Carroll and UIW is designed for licensed Montana nurses who have been prepared at the Bachelor of Science in Nursing level (BSN) and wish to advance their careers in either postsecondary nursing education or in executive and advanced healthcare leadership.

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. The MTDLI reports the average salary for a nurse in Montana with an MSN is $68,000. Employment opportunities for MSN graduates include higher level supervisory jobs in healthcare organizations or nursing faculty positions at a postsecondary Associate of Science RN or nurse positions for Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. A nurse with an MSN in leadership can qualify for many roles including a unit supervisor in a large hospital, director of nursing, Chief Nursing Officer, director of health or nursing in a community-based setting or a manager of a freestanding facility such as an ambulatory surgery center or a dialysis center.

"With Carroll College planning to expand our graduate education outreach in both nursing and allied health in the future, this special collaboration between Carroll College and UIW is an exciting first step in offering distance learning graduate-level education opportunities to Montana’s nurses," said Carroll College President Dr. John Cech. "We are committed at Carroll to adding programs which enhance the success of our graduates in the workforce." Cech also noted this is the first program of its kind for Montana’s nurses as it focuses on leadership issues.

This program provides Montana nurses with the unique opportunity to acquire an MSN in Nursing Leadership at a reduced tuition rate while continuing to work in their full-time jobs. Through a combination of online coursework, clinical hours and video conferencing held on alternate weeks, students are able to complete this fully accredited 31-credit degree plan in just 24 months.

While the program is administered and taught online through UIW, the necessary clinical hours can be completed in-state. In addition, UIW is offering the degree at a 25% tuition discount for Montana nurses with additional incentives for Carroll College nursing graduates.

"This program offers a strong fit between our two institutions because it leverages the fact that both Carroll College and UIW are Roman Catholic institutions of higher education which provide rich, faith-based, learning environments focused on a similar mission," said UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans. "In addition, it provides the opportunity for students to benefit from an even more diverse program by bringing together nurses from Montana and Texas – two states on opposite U.S. borders – to share their wealth of professional experiences and insights."

To learn more about the Master of Science in Nursing Leadership, visit carroll.edu/msn-program.