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Graduate School Adds New Nursing, Business Tracks

January 23, 2012

"OBU has a strong history of providing relevant preparation for our students," said OBU President David W. Whitlock. "In keeping with that history, these new graduate tracks offer educational resources for fields which are rapidly growing in importance."

In a letter from the Higher Learning Commission, Patricia Newton-Curran, director of accreditation services, said the commission has confirmed the addition of the two new tracks as part of OBU's accredited master's degree programs. The new tracks are slated to begin in August 2012.

"The energy track in our MBA program and the global nursing track in our MSN program reflect the ongoing commitment of OBU to develop strategic, professional programs which engage traditional vocations with innovative approaches," said Dr. Stan Norman, OBU provost and executive vice president for campus life.

"With the growth of the energy industry in Oklahoma, we believe our MBA energy track will equip our graduates to provide entrepreneurial leadership from a Christian worldview for this ever-growing industry. As occasions for global engagement continue to develop, the graduates of the our MSN global nursing track will be uniquely prepared to provide the highest quality of health care for diverse contexts as well as train the students to minister to the spiritual needs of their patients. We believe both programs hold great promise and are appropriate expressions of the mission of OBU."

The global nursing track of the MSN degree is a 39-hour program, said Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of OBU's College of Nursing. Fifteen hours of the curriculum are specific to global issues in nursing. Three hours relate to international health problems, three hours to international nursing roles, three hours to international health organizations, and six hours to a practicum either outside the United States or with international people groups within the U.S.

"This degree would be helpful for nurses interested in a nursing career in missions or work with international groups," Bolhouse said.

The current MSN program, built on professional nursing education at the undergraduate level, prepares nurses for advanced nursing roles through the delivery of health care with diverse populations and through leadership roles in rapidly changing health care systems. This is accomplished through the integration of advanced professional knowledge and Judeo-Christian beliefs.

"Our new global nursing track will prepare nursing leadership for world impact," said Dr. Scott Harris, director of the OBU Graduate School. "It is innovative and very timely for a generation that looks to make a difference in the lives of others."

The MBA degree with an emphasis in energy is a 36-hour degree, said Dr. David Houghton, dean of OBU's Paul Dickinson College of Business. Courses specific to the energy track include "21st Century Global Energy Environment and Issues," "Organizational Leadership in Energy Firms" and "Financial Analysis and Management for the Energy Industry."

"Students who complete the program will have the managerial breadth of an MBA while also gaining depth in an industry that is highly relevant to our Oklahoma economy," Houghton said.

The new energy track is an additional track to OBU's current MBA program. Designed for working adults, the MBA degree program teaches students to think strategically, lead effectively and exercise power ethically in a global business world. Students in the program experience global business first-hand during the "International Business Practicum" which includes travel to a foreign country, learning local business customs and encountering different cultures.

"We are very excited to introduce this new MBA program to energy sector HR Directors," Harris said. "We are here to help them develop their future leaders."

To request more information about the new tracks, click here.