Boone Hospital Center and Stephens College are pleased to announce that they have entered into an agreement to develop a new nursing program.

Boone Hospital Center and Stephens College recognize the need for more health care professionals in our community, and believe this program provides an innovative approach to addressing the nursing shortage that is being felt nationwide.

“Stephens College is proud to work alongside Boone Hospital, our neighbor, to help fulfill a need in our community,” said Dr. Dianne Lynch, president of Stephens College. “As the oldest higher education institute in Columbia, we have a long history of providing creative and innovative academic programs that reflect the needs of their time.”


Watch: Jan. 29 partnership announcement at Stephens College 


Stephens College already has a successful Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, which has graduated two classes of professionals now working in the community. The goal of the nursing program is to provide mid-Missouri with locally trained nurses, ready to work in local health care facilities. The Stephens College+Boone Hospital nursing program will be a three-year + two-summer Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“We are excited to play a role in finding solutions to fill the nursing shortage in our community and to collaborate with the nationally recognized nursing team at Boone,” said Dr. Leslie Willey, vice president of academic affairs at Stephens College. “Together, we are focused on developing best practices in nursing education. We hope to develop a program that will begin educating nursing professionals, with a target goal of an incoming class of around 20 in Fall 2020.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the RN workforce is expected to grow by 438,100 from 2016 to 2026. The Bureau projects the need for an additional 203,700 new RNs each year through 2026 to fill newly created positions and to replace retiring nurses. Contributing factors to the nursing shortage include a shortage of nursing faculty, restricting nursing program enrollments and high nurse retirement and turnover rates.

“We want to provide these students with an immersive experience,” said Monica Smith, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer of Boone Hospital Center. “They will get to learn the nursing profession in a real-world environment alongside some of the best nurses in the world. When they graduate, we hope that this experience has them prepared to enter the workforce with confidence and conviction." 

Boone Hospital Center nurses, in addition to Stephens College nursing faculty, will provide instruction. Boone also will have classrooms and a simulation lab on-site. Students will be immersed in an environment that synchronizes education with real-world nursing.

“This is a great example of two local institutions coming together with an innovative approach to tackle a local, regional and national issue,” said Jim Sinek, president of Boone Hospital Center. “We are excited to work with the talented educators at Stephens College to provide this valuable resource to our community.”

Those interested in learning more about the program may sign up to receive updates or call the Stephens College Office of Admissions at (573) 876-7201, Ext. 4207.


Visit the Stephens College Boone Hospital Center partnership page >


Media Contacts

Boone Hospital Center: Madison Loethen | [email protected] | (573) 815-6251

Stephens College: Ellen Orner | [email protected] | (573) 876-7111


About Stephens College

Driven by a mission to Learn. Grow. Lead., Stephens College has created groundbreaking educational opportunities for students from mid-Missouri and around the world since 1833. The College has built a foundation for the 21st century with its commitment to experiential learning, expanded degrees in the health sciences and creative arts, and targeted investment in programs leading to high-demand careers that serve and enrich communities. Stephens is an established leader in undergraduate women’s education and a longtime innovator in providing flexible, co-educational master’s degrees and certificates for working professionals.


About Boone Hospital Center

Boone Hospital Center is a 392-bed full-service hospital located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a regional referral center located in the center of the state. The hospital provides progressive health care programs, services and technology to residents in 25 mid-Missouri counties. Boone Hospital Center was named the top hospital in mid-Missouri by U.S. News & World Report for 2015-2018 and is designated as a Magnet® Hospital for Nursing Excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

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