Creighton University accelerated nursing program continues expansion

Above: Jake and Sakura Marshall both enrolled in the Creighton University Accelerated Nursing Program in Phoenix. Business News | 28 Jan, 2019 |

Creighton University’s Accelerated Nursing Program is continuing to expand its presence in the Valley health care and education community, reaching full enrollment in its second year and moving into a new, temporary facility. 

The program now boasts 48 students in its second year, and has moved into a new facility at the renovated Park Central, where it will be located until construction is completed on the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus in midtown Phoenix. 

The move was necessary because the program outgrew its space due to enrollment that was better than expected in the second year. 

“We are extremely pleased with the growth and progression of the Accelerated Nursing program here in Phoenix and are excited about its future,” said Jacqueline Chadwick, MD, the inaugural vice provost for the Creighton University Health Sciences Phoenix Regional Campus. “This is an example of the significant need for health care professionals in Arizona and the opportunity that exists for individuals as part of the Creighton approach to nursing education.” 

Creighton University has expanded its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to Arizona, with classes that began in January 2018. The Creighton Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has existed for over 40 years, and the program is accredited and has provisional approval from the Arizona State Board of Nursing with full approval anticipated after graduation of the first cohort. Class and clinicals for the program will take place at Dignity’s Phoenix-based hospitals including St. Joseph’s as well as at Maricopa Integrated Health System, Phoenix Children’s and other area hospitals.

Jake and Sakura Marshall are an example of why the program is so attractive to nursing students. The couple decided a couple of years ago to both enroll in the Creighton University Accelerated Nursing Program in Phoenix, and both were accepted to the program at the same time. Now, they’re getting their education in the year-long nursing program together, taking their experience as a married couple to a new but enjoyable place. 

The two hail from northern Utah, and after Jake spent six years as an explosive ordinance disposal technician in the Navy, they decided to embark on their next chapter together. Jake was the first to consider nursing as his post-military career, and Sakura followed soon after. 

“I spent six years in the military, and towards years 4-5, I wanted to move on and do something different,” Jake said. “I wanted to help people, so I started looking at medical options and decided on nursing. I really like that getting a BSN can be a lifelong career, or you can go teach, or go get a doctorate.”

“I was in a place where I liked what I did but kind of wanted something more, and I didn’t really know what that would be,” Sakura said. “When he started thinking about nursing I started thinking about it more. I liked the idea of being able to help people and have a good career.” 

The couple picked Creighton’s Accelerated Nursing Program in Phoenix because they wanted to be in the western United States and liked the option to complete the program in a year. When they got in at the same time, “it made the decision really easy,” Jake said.

Taking their courses at the same time has proven advantageous, they both said. 

“We both have our strengths and weaknesses in certain areas, so we are able to support each other,” Sakura said. “We also know what we’re going through — it’s hard for people sometimes to come home and explain their day, and there’s no way for the other person to know what it’s like. Now we know what each other’s experience is like, and I think it’s been a really great advantage.”

For more than a decade, Creighton University, located in Omaha, Nebraska, has been an academic mainstay in Phoenix, sending medical students to St. Joseph’s for rotations. That relationship expanded significantly in 2009 when the Jesuit, Catholic University and St. Joseph’s established a Creighton campus for third- and fourth-year medical students at the Phoenix hospital. The St. Joseph’s campus is home to almost 100 Creighton medical students.

Additionally, Creighton University School of Medicine, Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), and District Medical Group, Inc. (DMG), have announced a new alliance aimed at increasing the number of doctors and other health professionals in Arizona in an effort to meet the growing demand for physicians and other healthcare professionals. Arizona ranks 32nd in the nation for number of active MDs per 100,000 population.

The Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance, which was officially launched on September 1, 2017, is designed to improve and expand current health education programs offered by each of the entities. The alliance will also develop new academic and clinical education programs in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health.

Creighton University, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. It enrolls 4,255 undergraduates and 4,399 graduate and professional students among nine schools and colleges. No other university its size offers students such a comprehensive academic environment with personal attention from faculty-mentors. Creighton has been top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report for more than 20 years. Visit:

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