Two reviews of the nursing program at Montana State University-Northern will be held in coming weeks.
It seems like there is a bit of a rift over the operation of the program, which is a long-time staple at Northern.
Dr. Cynthia Gustafson, executive director of the Montana State Board of Nursing, will be on campus, talking to faculty and students.
At a later date two faculty members from Angelo State University in Texas will be in town to do the same kind of review. Angelo State is where Northern Chancellor Jim Limbaugh hails from.
The nursing department staff is apparently edgy about the reviews, and Limbaugh is apparently getting word from students that all is not well in the department.
There are apparently differences over grading and questions about how tough courses are. The retention rate in the program is lower than administrators would like, and retention if now a key focus in the Montana University System.
We can’t tell from this viewpoint what should be done, but we hope all involved understand the importance of the nursing program to the Hi-Line community.
The program has always been important to Northern. More important, it is a lifeline to the Havre area.
Local hospitals, clinics and doctors offices are full of Northern grads. Many nurses today say they never could have moved away to college, and couldn't have gotten their degrees anywhere but at Northern.
We hope whatever glitches are in the department will be taken care of quickly. And we hope the community that has been so well served by the program will take part in the discussion that is now taking place.