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WVU School of Nursing partners with Arellano University to continue international nursing education in West Virginia

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Brad Phillips, WVU School of Nursing associate dean of undergraduate programs and director of International Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs, led members of the Arellano University-International Nursing Program on a tour of the WVU Health Sciences Campus in January. (Submitted Photo/Carla Gonzales)

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The West Virginia University School of Nursing has established a partnership with the Arellano University-International Nursing Program to continue providing and enhancing nursing education within the Mountain State’s borders and abroad.

The inaugural program launched at Alderson-Broaddus University in 2005, but with the announcement of ABU’s closure in December 2023, leaders at the WVU School of Nursing offered a teach-out for the international nursing students.

Seeing this support and the quality of the nursing education offered, program directors at Arellano University selected the WVU School of Nursing as its partner school to continue the program.

“Being a partner with Arellano University-International Nursing Program is truly a win-win for both institutions,” Tara Hulsey, WVU School of Nursing dean and E. Jane Martin Endowed Professor, said. “While we currently offer many study abroad opportunities, this is our first global educational partnership. WVU Nursing students will benefit from matriculating with students from another culture and Arellano students will gain access to nursing employment opportunities in the U.S.”

The program is a 3-plus-1 curriculum, with Arellano students remaining in the Philippines for the first three years of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree before relocating to Morgantown to complete their senior years at the WVU School of Nursing. The students will be on F-1 visas, meaning they can remain in the U.S. for up to three years while they apply for permanent residency, if they choose to do so.

“Through this partnership, instructors at the Arellano University-International Nursing Program will teach our identical curriculum for students from their freshman to junior year,” said Brad Phillips, associate dean of undergraduate programs and director of International BSN Programs. “These students are receiving an American education in the Philippines, down to the student handbook.”

The first cohort of students for the partnership will be admitted in August and arrive in Morgantown for Fall 2027. From Fall 2024 through the next three fall semesters, former Alderson-Broaddus students who were part of the partnership will be admitted to WVU for the teach-out process.

Arellano students can expect access to many of the same resources as WVU students on campus, such as virtual-ATI testing, which helps prepare graduates for their nursing licensure exams. Once in Morgantown, Arellano students will also receive additional support, such as access to the WVU Global Affairs Office, the WVU Filipino Student Association, and mentoring from several WVU School of Nursing faculty and staff with Filipino backgrounds.

Joan Propst, former Alderson-Broaddus provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said the program was initially created as a way to provide an American curriculum in nursing education to students in the Philippines.

“The program has been exciting and challenging and has provided the opportunity for student education and exchange,” Propst said. “I have worked with the INP since its inception, and it has been my pleasure to work with valued colleagues from Arellano and AB to bring this program into reality. I am delighted to see it continue at West Virginia University and to have the program embraced so heartily by colleagues there.”

In January, Arellano University-International Nursing Program Director Emerita C. Mendoza, Director for International Academic Linkages Philip M. Flores, and professor Carla May C. Gonzales visited the WVU School of Nursing to lay the groundwork for the collaboration. They were also invited to tour the state-of-the-art facilities at the WVU Health Sciences Center, including the West Virginia Simulation Training and Education for Patient Safety (STEPS) Center. In October, Dean Hulsey, Phillips and Director of Advising Julien Nguyen plan to visit the Arellano University campus to continue growing the partnership. 

“Arellano University-International Nursing Program is thankful that, in our search for an academic institution with the same passion for educating nurses and an openness to relevant innovation, we have found West Virginia University,” Mendoza said. “WVU, with a reputable nursing program, took the leap and entrusted us to adapt and implement the first three years of their BSN curriculum. In return, we will faithfully adhere to WVU curriculum and standards, ensuring that our students receive an education and training that is comparable to that of our American counterparts.”



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