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Released December 18, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS AND BILOXI REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER PARTNER
LONG BEACH --The University of Southern Mississippi and Biloxi Regional Medical Center have established a partnership to meeting the needs of BRMC employees. In the partnership, Southern Miss is offering on-site, prerequisite courses for nursing employees desiring to complete their bachelor's degrees in nursing.

The program is designed in a flexible, eight-week format so employees can complete their core nursing courses in one year. On January 7, approximately 30 BRMC employees commenced the program by enrolling in two courses.

Southern Miss offers all aspects of registration, application, books and information sessions at BRMC for the students' convenience. The objective of both parties is to provide quality academic programs meeting the needs and schedules of the employees of BRMC. Southern Miss is leading the way into a new flexible educational environment by bringing the classroom to students.

"This partnership is a perfect example of the type of unique delivery of education we can offer and are pleased to offer to professionals throughout Mississippi. We are bringing advanced education to those people who want it in an environment that is convenient for them," said Dr. Shelby Thames, Southern Miss president.

As workforce needs of the business industry increase and more people want to advance their careers, many businesses are turning to a more convenient and flexible alternative for their employees to become educated.

"The ultimate goal of the partnership is to make a positive difference in nursing considering the effects the national nursing shortage has had on many medical facilities and also to allow Biloxi Regional employees easy access to begin or further their education," said Tim Mitchell, chief executive officer of BRMC.

Southern Miss has begun partnering with local businesses to increase local community member education and meet the needs of the Gulf Coast business community with quality education. BRMC is the first partnership for Southern Miss.

In July, the BRMC's board of directors presented a $70,000 gift to Southern Miss' School of Nursing on the Gulf Park campus. The funds have been used to hire for a nine-month nursing faculty position and provide necessary equipment for the school's nursing skills lab.

For more information on the nursing program at Southern Miss, call (228) 865-4517.

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January 19, 2005 3:36 PM