Four community colleges in Kansas have partnered with the University of Kansas School of Nursing in a cutting-edge nursing education model that will allow students to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) simultaneously.
Butler, Hutchinson, Johnson County and Neosho County Community Colleges all received accreditation approval for the program which will be officially rolled out this fall. A fifth college, Kansas City Community College, had originally gained the accreditation and recently graduated two students in the pilot program. Both graduates received their BSN degrees and obtained employment at the University of Kansas Hospital as registered nurses.
Previously known as the Kansas City Kansas Community College Partnership Program, the new Partnership Program already has 43 students registered for fall classes at the five community colleges. Nelda Godfrey KU associate dean said that the partnership allows a smooth transition for students and allows them to build important relationships. “Ultimately, students can move easily through the pathway and achieve both degrees. It’s a better, more efficient pipeline for educating nurses to meet growing workforce needs,” she said.
Community college faculty teamed up with KU faculty members to design the curriculum which will allow students to complete the program in four years. The AND classes will be offered on campus and coursework for the BSN program will be completed online.
The combined curriculum was created in 2013 by leaders from state community colleges and KU School of Nursing officials. In 2014 the pre-licensure partnership model was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Board of Nursing. Godfrey said that the program will increase the diversity of students and allow students to stay in their home communities. It will answer help answer the need for additional BSN graduates due to expanded educational requirements for nurses.