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SIUE, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges partner on nursing degree track

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing and Illinois Eastern Community Colleges have announced a new partnership that will offer students a progressive track toward achieving a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

The bachelor of science in nursing degree track enables IECC students to rapidly complete their baccalaureate degree from the SIUE School of Nursing after attending IECC, where they will have completed an associate degree and the majority of the general education requirements.

“This partnership allows students to transition seamlessly and efficiently toward completion of their bachelor’s degree in nursing,” said Roberta Harrison, PhD, RN and assistant dean of the School of Nursing. “Reaching out to associate degree graduates and current nursing students attending Illinois Eastern Community Colleges will lead to a greater number of baccalaureate prepared nurses delivering care in the southeastern Illinois region.

“This program is a pioneering response to the Institute of Medicine’s call to increase the percentage of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to 80 percent by 2020. Graduates of this degree track will be prepared to meet the dynamic needs of an aging, increasingly diverse population and to respond to a complex, evolving health-care system.”

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

“This new collaboration exemplifies the School of Nursing’s commitment to providing progressive and innovative curricula that will prepare nurses for the challenging healthcare needs of our nation and beyond,” said Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN and dean of the SIUE School of Nursing. “We are continuously exploring partnership opportunities with community colleges in Illinois to ensure our high-quality academic and clinical opportunities are available to future nursing professionals.”

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