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Orbis Education Secures $8.0 Million in Funding for Expanding Online Nursing Education Platform
Date:1/19/2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbis Education, a developer of nursing education solutions, has announced the completion of its $8 million Series B financing, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners of Menlo Park, California.  The funding will allow Orbis Education to broadly expand its hybrid online nursing education programs and, in turn, help alleviate the nation's wide-spread nursing shortages.

Led by an experienced team of education and healthcare veterans, Orbis Education works with colleges and universities to develop online nursing programs, recruit new qualified students, and manage the delivery of these programs.  Orbis's current partners include innovative leaders in the nursing education and healthcare fields, including San Diego State University, the University of Oklahoma, Marian University, Sharp HealthCare, St. Vincent Health, and Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

"The next decade will be extremely important in the quest to combat the nursing shortage," said Daniel J. Briggs, Chief Executive Officer of Orbis.  "This new infusion of capital by Lightspeed will allow Orbis Education to broadly deliver one-stop educational services to healthcare organizations and universities looking to recruit and graduate more qualified nurses, more quickly."  

"Orbis has an innovative and cost-effective model for helping nursing schools expand student capacity and generate a high-quality pool of nursing graduates," according to Andrew Chung, a Principal at Lightspeed Venture Partners who will take a seat on the company's board of directors.  "Orbis offers a timely solution rooted in proven learning methodologies to a societal problem that will continue to intensify over time.  We are excited about the company's long-term ability to revolutionize the nursing education field."

The aging population, aging nurse workforce, and spotlight on healthcare reform all contribute to a widely publicized nationwide nursing shortage.  A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that nearly 600,000 new nursing positions will need to be created by 2016 to address the current shortfall, and the Bureau of Health Professions estimates that 90 percent more nurses will need to be graduated from nursing programs to meet that demand.  Also, according to Vanderbilt University, four out of every ten nurses in the U.S. are over the age of 50 and will retire in the next ten years, exacerbating the shortage.

Blending technology and traditional methods, Orbis Education powers the collaborations that accelerate nursing program enrollments.  Leveraging Orbis Education's Full Circle Solutions, a hospital becomes a virtual extension of a major university.   Theory courses are taught by university nursing faculty via interactive online classes that include threaded discussions, real-time webcasts, projects, assignments and proctored examinations. Students have the flexibility of completing the online courses during day or evening hours and hands-on clinical preparation is taught by appointed university faculty assigned to work directly with students.

In partnership with universities and leading hospitals, Orbis Education creates an ideal nursing pipeline of men and women who are able to quickly transition from students to employees upon graduation.

About Orbis Education

Founded in 2003, Orbis Education creates, manages, and markets collaborative nursing education solutions that alleviate nursing shortages for hospitals and healthcare systems.  Orbis leverages alliances with leading nursing schools and healthcare networks to provide flexible and customized nursing programs.  The company currently has strategic partnerships with leading institutions like San Diego State University, the University of Oklahoma, Marian University, Sharp HealthCare, St. Vincent Health, and Glendale Adventist Medical Center.  For more information, visit www.orbiseducation.com.

About Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm with over $2 billion of committed capital under management. Lightspeed's investment professionals and advisors are located in Silicon Valley, China, India and Israel. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed more than 150 companies, many of which have become leaders in their respective markets, including Blue Nile, Brocade, Calista, Ciena, DoubleClick, eHealth, Galileo Technology, Growth Networks, Informatica, Kiva Software, LightLogic, Maker Communications, Metasolv, Openwave, Quantum Effect Devices, Riverbed, Sirocco, Virsa Systems and Waveset. For more information, please visit http://www.lightspeedvp.com.

SOURCE Orbis Education

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