Lewis and Clark Community College nursing students may have an easier time earning their bachelor’s degree thanks to a new agreement with the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The board of trustees of the University of Illinois, on behalf of the UIC College of Nursing and UIC Extended Campus, and Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, has entered into a memorandum of understanding to create a dual-admissions pathway from the Lewis and Clark associate degree in nursing program to UIC’s online RN to BSN degree completion program.
“With six campuses throughout Northern and Central Illinois, the UIC College of Nursing has long been dedicated to educating nurse leaders for the entire state,” said Terri Weaver, dean of the UIC College of Nursing. “Now, through this partnership, we can make a meaningful and almost immediate difference for southern Illinois communities facing critical nursing shortages.”
Under the agreement, the dual-admissions pathway will allow nursing students to earn an associate degree in nursing at LCCC, while at the same time, enrolling in identified courses which are part of the fully online UIC RN to BSN degree completion program and working in their home region.
“Because it’s fully online, our BSN-completion program is easily accessible, and with this agreement, we can provide a new level of convenience for students at Lewis and Clark,” said Kate Tredway, director of the UIC College of Nursing RN to BSN degree completion program. “I personally can’t wait to welcome them.”
In January 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked UIC’s online baccalaureate degrees No. 3 in the nation.
Upon successful completion of LCCC’s ADN program, students will be awarded their associate degree and continue their progress in the UIC online RN to BSN program as degree-seeking students. UIC will confer the bachelor’s degree in nursing after graduation requirements are met.
In 2019, LCCC had approximately 85 nursing graduates.
“Lewis and Clark Community College is excited to offer students a chance to start their UIC degree at Lewis and Clark,” said LCCC Director of Nursing Education Sheri Banovic. “This agreement allows students to seamlessly transfer from high school to associate degree to bachelor’s and beyond.”
“This innovative new opportunity for students is an example of higher education in Illinois working together to fill a critical workforce shortage in our area,” said State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “This new dual credit pathway with the University of Illinois System and Lewis and Clark Community College is exactly the type of thing we should be doing in Illinois to help better deliver higher quality healthcare to underserved areas.”
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows.
The association also says “baccalaureate nursing programs encompass all of the course work taught in associate degree and diploma programs, plus a more in-depth treatment of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities.”
“As a proud Lewis and Clark Community College alumna, I applaud the University of Illinois System for recognizing the affordable, quality education offered at Lewis and Clark to people downstate and teaming up to bring more opportunities for its graduates,” said State Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon. “Rural communities already have trouble finding qualified medical staff to meet their needs, and this partnership will place skilled, capable nurses in areas that will benefit the most.”
“This collaborative effort by UIC and Lewis and Clark Community College will bring more high-paying nursing jobs to our region, help more of our students achieve their academic goals while remaining in the area, and help increase access to high-quality and compassionate care for all,” said State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton). “I’m very happy that both of these institutions have partnered to provide more career opportunities for our young people and students that will benefit the entire Metro East region.”
Those interested in more information on the ADN + BSN Dual Admission Pathway can go to the UIC RN to BSN website, scroll down to “Get the Details Now,” then click on “Take the Next Step” and “Talk with an Adviser.”