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Ursuline announces nursing partnership with Lakeland Community College

February 24, 2017

The Breen School of Nursing at Ursuline College has added a new partnership with Lakeland Community College to its list of programs that allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in less time and at a lower cost. The program is designed to help meet Northeast Ohio’s demand for nurses with the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN).

Students who dually enroll full-time in the Lakeland and Ursuline programs can complete an associate degree in nursing (RN) in five semesters and then complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) in as few as two additional semesters post-licensure. Students will attend classes throughout the academic year including online courses during the summer semester.

New first-time Lakeland students who are college ready can start immediately with no waiting. Students are eligible to take the state nursing exam upon earning the associate degree. Students can seek employment once they are licensed as a registered nurse.

“Students with strong academic preparation in high school, and adults who already earned an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in another field, can begin taking courses required for the associate degree immediately with no waiting,” said Dr. Kathleen Gravens, nursing program director at Lakeland. The admissions deadline for the fall 2017 semester is May 1.

Ursuline is offering a reduced tuition rate of $300 per credit hour for its courses, which is less than one-third of its undergraduate rate.

“Many local health care systems are requiring their nurses to earn a BSN within 2-5 years of hire,” said Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, dean of nursing at Ursuline. “This dual enrollment program will help graduate more nurses with advanced education.”

Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing has a similar 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.

“These affiliations open 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.”

The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report on “The Future of Nursing” calls for a greater number of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to respond to the demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients. One step in realizing this goal is for a greater number of nurses to enter the workforce with a baccalaureate degree or progress to this degree early in their career.

In Ohio, 44 percent of nurses hold associate degrees and 31 percent of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees. Twenty-nine percent of Lakeland nursing graduates go on to a bachelor’s degree, which is higher than the state average of 15 percent.

In addition to this online BSN program, Ursuline’s Breen School offers a 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 Sharpnack (right) provides Dr. Kathleen Gravens with a tour of Ursuline’s Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust Nursing Skills Lab.

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