HCA Healthcare
March 14, 2019

SOURCE: Louisville Business First

AUTHOR: Shea Van Hoy

Galen College of Nursing on Zorn Avenue. WILLIAM DESHAZER

Louisville's Galen College of Nursing will be acquired by a national health care giant, the college announced Thursday afternoon.

Under the deal, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA), one of the nation’s leading health care providers, will become the majority owner of the parent company of Galen, one of the largest educators of nurses in the U.S.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With 94,000 registered nurses, HCA Healthcare is one of the largest employers of nurses in the country, with nurses holding positions from bedside caregivers in a variety of health care settings to leadership positions throughout the organization. This new partnership is a continuation of HCA Healthcare’s focus on nurses and nursing excellence, which has resulted in a positive impact on clinical outcomes, patient experience, efficiency of care and nurse engagement, according to the release.

“Nurses are the lifeblood of our organization, and we’ve been intentional about investing in nursing so they can be successful and provide the best possible patient care,” said Sam Hazen, HCA Healthcare’s CEO, in the release. “Galen has an excellent reputation in nursing education, and we look forward to working with them to advance their mission and expand their programs to more of our markets.”

Galen, which is the ninth largest college in Louisville according to Business First research, had about 2,000 students in Louisville in the fall 2018 semester and was founded in 1989 by Humana Inc., but broke off in 1994 as its own private, for-profit entity. It's located on Zorn Avenue just off Interstate 71.

Galen has students in nursing programs across five campus locations and online. It will remain Galen College of Nursing and will continue to be led by CEO Mark Vogt.

“Every interaction with HCA Healthcare has reinforced that we share common ideals and cultural expectations of excellence,” Vogt said. “We are extremely excited about building on the synergies between nursing practice and nursing education, and the possibilities this unlocks for years to come. It is an incredible milestone for Galen and we have confidence that this union will not only strengthen our ability to carry out our mission, but to expand our vision.”

Mark Vogt, president of Galen College of Nursing

The partnership with HCA Healthcare is expected to provide growth opportunities for the 30-year old nursing school. For example, it is anticipated that Galen’s nursing degree programs will offer additional career development opportunities for HCA Healthcare nurses. It also will provide opportunities for Galen to establish nursing programs at HCA Healthcare affiliates across the country, providing more clinical education and career opportunities for Galen students.

In 2018, HCA Healthcare added more than 6,200 registered nurses and continued to invest in new technologies to support nursing by improving communication between patients and nurses and across care teams. HCA Healthcare also completed the deployment of its advanced one-of-a-kind documentation system that returned 30 minutes of time to nurses in each 12-hour shift and generated data expected to help drive improvement in clinical outcomes.

HCA Healthcare’s work in nursing education is not new as the organization has two nursing schools as well as five advanced nursing simulation training centers. HCA has 185 hospitals, 1,800 care sites and its 2017 revenue was about $44 billion.

The transaction is subject to pending regulatory approval and other customary conditions.