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Ursuline announces nursing education agreement with Ashtabula

February 02, 2017

Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing has signed a dual enrollment agreement with the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) that enables nursing students to be jointly enrolled in both schools for a three-year RN (registered nurse) curriculum, and then complete an online BSN (bachelor of science in nursing degree) in one year.

“This affiliation opens new doors of opportunity for students at a time when the region’s nursing shortage is severe and growing,” said Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP, dean of The Breen School of Nursing. According to a Jan. 28, 2017 article in Crain's Cleveland Business, “Northeast Ohio faces a projected shortage of 3,500 nurses by 2020.”

“We are so pleased to welcome A-Tech students to The Breen School of Nursing and offer them excellent and rigorous preparation for a rewarding career in nursing. I appreciate the spirit of cooperation that enabled us to align curricula and make this opportunity possible for Ashtabula students.”

The dual enrollment agreement – also called an articulation agreement – specifies the courses students must take during their joint enrollment in order to be eligible to complete Ursuline’s online BSN in one year. Dr. Sharpnack, who is also Strawbridge Associate Professor of Nursing, said the BSN degree is now the preferred degree for nurses and the online nature of the program makes it possible for students to complete this degree while working as an RN.

A-Tech Superintendent Jerome R. Brockway, Ph.D., said, "The culmination of two years of work, which resulted in an unprecedented pathway for individuals to economically and efficiently enter into the health care nursing profession and systematically move from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse, as a student in two high quality educational systems is very beneficial to the prospective students, community, and the healthcare profession."

The Breen School of Nursing signed a similar affiliation agreement during fall 2016 semester with Lakeland Community College, enabling Lakeland students to dual enroll for RN courses and complete the Ursuline BSN online.

In addition to this online BSN program, The Breen School offers a the traditional BSN program; a second degree, accelerated, 15-month BSN program for students with bachelor’s degrees in other majors who wish to pursue a nursing career; the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, which allows students to pursue advanced practice nursing as an adult nurse practitioner, a family nurse practitioner, an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, or to specialize in palliative care or nursing education; and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for post-MSN students who wish to be influential leaders in nursing practice and administration.

The Breen BSN Program has been nationally recognized with the Hearst Award for its innovative methods with integrating geriatrics into the curriculum.

Above: Dr. Patricia A. Sharpnack, left, dean of The Breen School of Nursing, demonstrates the features of one of Ursuline’s high fidelity mannequins to A-Tech Superintendent Dr. Jerome Brockway and Stephanie Miller, director of A-Tech's Knoedler School of Practical Nurse Education.

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