11/16/2022 McMurry News

(ABILENE, Texas – Nov. 16, 2022) – Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) and McMurry University (McMurry) have reached an agreement that will result in providing West Texas with more nursing school graduates. HSU will establish its own nursing program by 2025, and McMurry will retain the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing name and acquire its assets for its own nursing program. Both nursing programs are dependent on approval by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Texas Board of Nursing.

After resolving prior misunderstandings, McMurry confirmed that HSU has fulfilled all duties owed to the School of Nursing as well as to McMurry. As a result of this agreement, both institutions released each other of all claims asserted in the Taylor County District Court litigation and submitted a joint notice of dismissal of claims to terminate the litigation.

The need for more nurses is widely documented, and HSU and McMurry will help to fulfill that need, especially in West Texas, by providing for two nursing education programs where one exists today. “With today’s agreement, the two universities are able to move forward with independent programs that will increase the number of nurses in the Big Country and beyond. HSU is excited to create a new nursing program delivered on campus and integrated with the rest of the university,” said Eric Bruntmyer, President of HSU. Sandra Harper, President of McMurry, said, “The establishment of another nursing school is a win for Abilene and will impact the region positively by helping to fill vacant nursing positions. All of us at McMurry are excited to continue our commitment to enhance nursing education by ensuring that Patty Hanks graduates are prepared to meet diverse patients’ needs, and deliver safe, quality patient care.”

During the transition to independent nursing programs, the two institutions will continue as members in the nursing consortium as they have been, except McMurry will become the coordinating institution on December 1, 2022 to allow HSU to focus on developing its own independent nursing program. The transition is expected to be complete by January 2025.


Nicholas Ocheltree, Director of Integrated Communications

Robin Daniels, Vice President of Marketing and Communications