Central Methodist University (CMU) recently was approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association to begin offering its fifth master’s degree program — the Master of Science in Nursing-Adult Nurse Educator (MSN-ANE).

President Roger Drake made the announcement earlier this week.

The program formerly was available only as a track within the university’s MSN clinical nurse leader program.

CMU’s training of nursing professionals to teach will help address a critical demand in health care.

Despite a nursing shortage, tens of thousands of qualified prospects are turned away from nursing schools in the United States each year due to faculty shortages.

Hospitals and CMU’s Missouri community college partners are the primary targets to provide students for the new program, and among the most likely groups to hire them upon completion, according to Dr. Rita Gulstad, CMU provost.

Gulstad noted that several of CMU’s community college partners, including East Central College in Union, Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Mineral Area College in Park Hills, and State Fair Community College in Sedalia have expressed interest in a graduate level nurse educator program to help address faculty shortages.

“We anticipate the majority of students will be adult, practicing nurses working full time while they pursue their MSN,” Gulstad said.

The degree will be in the “cohort” format, meaning enrollment will be limited and a group of students who begin at the same time can progress through the program together.

The program also will be accessible through CMU partnerships with North Central Missouri College in Trenton, Crowder College in Neosho, Jefferson College in Hillsboro and Arnold, Linn State Technical College and through CMU off-campus centers in Clinton, Columbia, Osage Beach, Rolla and St. Louis.

CMU is now accepting applications for the program and expects to notify students within six weeks of application, Gulstad said.

Dr. Angela Cornelius, CMU assistant professor of nursing, will administer the program.

The degree becomes CMU’s fifth graduate program, joining its Master of Education, Master of Music Education, Master of Science in Clinical Counseling, and Master of Science in Nursing-Clinical Nurse Leader degrees.

For more information, people may email Stephanie Brink, CMU assistant dean for online programs and director of nursing for the College of Graduate and Extended Studies, at sbrink@centralmethodist.edu, or call 660-248-6639.