Central Methodist University's Nursing Program Grows
Some classrooms at Central Methodist University used to be full of empty seats. But now, students like Suzie Payne commute from Columbia to fill the seats in the Nursing School.
"From what I know last year there were 17 in the junior nursing class, and this year when we started there were 38 of us," Payne said.
The number of nursing students nearly doubled from last year because of the number of commuters.
"Well this year in particular we have 23 transfer students and most of them are coming from Columbia," CMU's Department of Nursing Chair Shirley Peterson said.
Not only is the Nursing School's class list expanding, but the school's reputation is also on the rise. The Nursing School just applied for a national accreditation, which will give the school prestigious recognition at the national level.
Even though the drive is long, commuters say the outcome is worth it.
"It [commuting] does get very old...But I know at the end of it I'm going to have a nursing degree; and that's something I'm really passionate about so it's worth it," Payne said.
The Nursing School can hold 50 students per class, but the school has not seen that number of students since 1990. Sixteen students are graduating from the senior class this year. The Nursing Department hopes to see all 37 juniors graduate next year.