ST. CLOUD -- Two longstanding St. Cloud institutions will be partnering up to expand local nursing education options.

CentraCare announced a 1.5 million dollar commitment to St. Cloud State University on Wednesday afternoon that will launch a new Graduate Nursing Education program and create the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.

Ken Holmen is the President and CEO of CentraCare. He says the new graduate program will prepare workers for the changing health care landscape of the region.

We have advanced nursing programs so nurses can achieve their doctorate. We have nurses that go on in advanced clinical teaching roles, clinical nurse practitioners, and advanced practice providers who actually provide clinical work in the hospital, so it's about providing opportunities for individuals to expand their educational and clinical capability as well as their leadership.

St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker says CHOPR will focus on action research that is useable in local communities.

We very much want to focus on action research so that not only do we do great research here, but it's useable and practical and helps shape how we deliver services.

The new programs are expected to launch in the fall of 2020.

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