Apsen University nursing students can graduate after agreement reached

Nursing students are elated after the state board of nursing approved a deal with Aspen University.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona State Board of Nursing voted on Thursday to accept an agreement with Aspen University to keep its nursing program running, at least for now. That means students can graduate and take the test to become licensed nurses. There were a lot of happy tears from students during the meeting. “Tears of joy. I mean, obviously I’m very emotional. I was very excited, very happy. We’ve worked so hard,” said one student.

The agreement does come with conditions for Aspen University. There will be more oversight for the nursing program, including more clinical hours and session oversight. Another part of the agreement includes the dismissal of the restraining order Aspen Unversity filed on Monday, which would have prevented the state nursing board from taking action. It was filed because earlier this month, the state board said it planned to shut down Aspen for low test scores and safety concerns. If it weren’t for the agreement, some 400 nursing students would have had to start over.

The saga started in 2021 when the board of nursing began investigating the nursing program because students had consistently scored below the state average, and there were repeated complaints that they were unprepared for basic daily job duties. The school is now in a teach-out process, meaning they can’t accept new students.