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SIUE, Lewis and Clark partner on nursing degree fast-track program


From Illinois Business Journal news services

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing and Lewis and Clark Community College have announced a new partnership. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree track enables community college students to rapidly achieve their baccalaureate degree from SIUE after attending Lewis and Clark to complete an associate degree and the majority of the general education requirements.

“This is going to benefit students who may not have originally seen themselves going into a four-year program,” said Dr. Roberta Harrison, assistant dean of the School of Nursing. “They can complete the coursework for an associate degree at the community college level. When they transition into our online program, they can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

A student who successfully completes the first two semesters of outlined BS in Nursing Partnership curriculum at LCCC can enroll in the first two School of Nursing courses for their third and fourth semesters. Once a student has successfully completed the ADN program at LCCC and licensure as a registered nurse is obtained, the student may progress through the remaining four RN to BS nursing courses through the School of Nursing’s online program.

“In the future, SIUE SON hopes to serve as the hub for a number of community colleges that seek University partnerships in offering students a progressive track in achieving a baccalaureate degree in nursing,” Harrison said. “This type of partnership will have a positive effect on the workforce by increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses at the bedside.”

In October 2010, the Institute of Medicine released its report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, detailing how nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change to meet the needs of an aging, increasingly diverse population and to respond to a complex, evolving health-care system. The report recommended increasing the percentage of the bachelor of science prepared registered nurse workforce to 80 percent by 2020.

“Community college nursing programs play a critical role in educating the nurse workforce for the country, and therefore in partnership with SIUE, LCCC will provide a seamless transition to SIUE for the bachelor’s degree in nursing,” said Donna Meyer, CEO of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, and former LCCC dean of Health Sciences. “The blending of the two programs makes for a unique learning experience.

“All of the course requirements and academic advising elements have been pre-arranged as a result of the agreement. This pairing of programs is high-quality and unparalleled, and the agreement will assist nursing students in completing the course work for a baccalaureate degree in nursing.”

“L&C is the first to work collaboratively with us on a program of this nature,” said Dr. Laura Bernaix, interim dean of the SIUE program. “This will be an agreement that other community colleges in Illinois will also desire, and we have already initiated discussions for additional partnerships.”

LCCC Director of Nursing Education Sheri Banovic said L&C’s Nursing program and SIUE’s SON have worked well together for many years and look forward to the partnership.

“This agreement will provide students a cost-effective and seamless path to further their nursing education,” Banovic said. “We are very excited to provide this opportunity for our students.”


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