(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Southern Illinois University's Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses are joining forces to address a statewide nursing shortage. SIUE's School of Nursing will open a regional nursing program this fall on the Carbondale campus. Beginning in August, interested freshmen will be accepted at Carbondale as pre-nursing students.
The SIUE baccalaureate nursing program satellite will be headed by Marcia Maurer, dean of the SIUE School of Nursing, who points out it will be identical to the curriculum offered on the Edwardsville campus. "Applicants interested in SIUE's nursing program at SIUC may enroll in a pre-nursing curriculum during their freshman year at Carbondale," Maurer said. "Second-semester students pursuing a BSN would then apply to the SIUE nursing program for admission consideration as second-year students in fall 2010 on the Carbondale campus."
For several years, Maurer has been a statewide voice in addressing the nursing shortage in Illinois. "According to the Illinois Workforce Development Board, as well as the critical skills shortage data reported by the Southern Illinois Workforce Investment Board, there will be a shortage of more than 600 registered nurses by 2010 in health care facilities from Madison County south to Massac County," she said. Since the SIUE School of Nursing-fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-is the official home of the program, a BSN would be conferred by SIUE even though a student is taking program classes at SIU Carbondale.
Through the partnership, SIUE nursing faculty will teach classes at Carbondale, while other select classes will be offered via tele-education between the two campuses. SIUE nursing faculty also will provide clinical supervision of the nursing students in the Carbondale area. "The Carbondale region is rich with clinical sites for students to obtain valuable experiences; this is a significant part of a nursing program's curriculum," Maurer pointed out. "Admission to the nursing program at SIUE is competitive; the same criteria will be in place for applying students at the Carbondale campus," she said. "The number of students accepted will be contingent not only on academic strength but on the capacity of the clinical sites. Students who are not admitted may re-apply in the next academic year or change to one of the many health care majors offered at SIUE or SIUC."
SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman said addressing the nursing shortage was paramount in the move to provide nursing curriculum on the Carbondale campus. "I am very pleased with our partnership with SIUE," Goldman said. "Both campuses will benefit and our region will gain much needed, well-prepared nurses."
SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said the partnership through SIUC will benefit students and residents throughout Southern Illinois by helping address the nursing shortage in that region. "This is a great example of how our two campuses are able to collaborate to serve the southernmost part of the state," Vandegrift pointed out. "In this endeavor, SIUE has the expertise in nursing and existing administration to provide a much needed service to the region while SIUC can help deliver that service to Southern Illinois students in an efficient manner."