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SIUE School of Nursing sees enrollment surge

schoolofnursingclass2017The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing is reporting an approximate 40 percent increase in new students enrolled for fall 2017.

The graduate programs are all experiencing enrollment growth, with the most notable increases occurring in the Doctor of Nursing Practice specializations.

The school awards doctoral degrees for post-master’s advanced practice nurses, as well as post baccalaureate to DNP programs in nurse anesthesia and family nurse practitioner.

“We attribute our success to our strong immersion-based programming options, the diversity of clinical experiences we provide due to our regional location and clinic and hospital partnerships, students’ excellent outcomes on standardized testing and board pass rates, and the fact that all of this is achieved at a reasonable cost for students,” said Andrew Griffin, PhD, assistant dean for graduate programs.

“We continue to make our programs accessible to career-oriented students by offering web-based courses and diverse clinical locations. We’ve been on the leading edge of offering doctoral degrees. We were among the first to introduce the BSN to DNP for nurse practitioners.”

The school touts its immersion-based experiences that offer students flexibility and connectedness.

Immersion experiences include an orientation program that offers campus highlights and tours, opportunities to meet with instructors to gain an understanding of expectations and coordinate efficient and effective communication, as well as practice developing high-level writing skills. Additionally, opportunities for student clinical development and important skill-level test-outs are top priorities during the immersion experiences.

“We tout our immersion-based programming as offering the best of both worlds,” Griffin said. “Our programming is primarily online. By asking the students to come to campus for a few days, we’re able to create relationships between students and faculty and they can begin to build off of that strong foundation and achieve their aspirations.

“Additionally, our open labs and teleconferencing options ensure that students are clinically prepared to emerge as nurse leaders and transform their practice and the health care industry.”

“I went through an extended exploratory time, investigating DNP programs located far away and close to home,” said Aimee Shaw, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Cardinal Glennon who earned a post-master’s DNP from SIUE in 2016. “The clincher for me choosing to attend SIUE’s program was the faculty, with whom I connected during my interviews.”

Shaw pursued the program not as a job requirement, but due to personal motivation to provide the best care possible for her patients.

“The DNP program is an exceedingly growth-, personality-, character-building opportunity that changes you for the better,” she said. “It’s a meaningful investment of your time, and whether or not it’s apparent at the beginning, it will have a profound, positive effect on how you approach your patients and their families, and your mission and work, in ways you can’t even imagine.”

According to Griffin, plans are underway to establish an early acceptance program on a conditional basis for undergraduates who excel in their academic preparation and may thrive in the school’s graduate programming.

PHOTO: First-year doctoral students pose with Andrew Griffin, PhD, School of Nursing assistant dean for graduate programs, and Laura Bernaix, PhD, dean of the school, during their fall immersion experience.

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