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UC-Beckley announces new nursing program

Two years after the nursing program at the now defunct Mountain State University closed, a new nursing opportunity is available to Beckley-area students.

The University of Charleston-Beckley, which took over MSU in late 2012 after the school’s accreditation was revoked following leadership problems, is offering a one-of-a-kind associate degree for aspiring nurses.

The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses approved the program on Thursday, which will be an accelerated 18-month program with classes happening every other weekend.

Students will work inside of Raleigh General and Beckley Appalachian Regional hospitals as part of their courses, and classes will start this fall.

“The program is unlike any other in West Virginia. There really is actually no competition,” Duane Napier, director of the program, said.

After MSU’s accreditation was revoked, several nursing students filed lawsuits against school administration, saying they were intentionally misled about the program and wasted time trying to obtain a degree from a school that was not nationally recognized.

Napier said the past issues with MSU’s nursing school is not a worry of UC’s current leadership or for future students.

“As far as having any concerns about what happened at MSU versus starting a new program, we have absolutely no concerns, and we wouldn’t. What happened at MSU is not even on our radar,” Napier said.

The program is being coined as a community partnership, with organizations like the Beckley Chamber of Commerce on board.

“This is probably the most excitement for and support of any program we’ve done,” UC-Beckley President Jerry Forster said in a statement. “There is a great need for this program, and we are very grateful to all those who have worked so hard to bring the [Associate Degree in Nursing] to our Beckley campus.”

There is a class limit of 15, with a new cohort to be accepted in January.

To apply, visit

Reach Mackenzie Mays at

or at 304-348-4814.

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