March 16, 2015
By Toni Cardarella
The University of Kansas-Community College Nursing Partnership has launched a shared curriculum program that offers students a new way to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at KU.
Students accepted to the new KUCCNP shared curriculum program dually enroll in associate-level courses at a participating community college and baccalaureate-level online courses delivered by the KU School of Nursing. After successfully completing eight semesters in the program, students are awarded an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from the community college and a BSN from KU.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Ph.D., and Karen Miller, Ph.D., senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at KU Medical Center and dean of the School of Nursing, signed a memorandum approving the new program at a ceremony held on the KU Medical Center campus.
"This innovative program developed by the KU-Community College Nursing Partnership exemplifies a shared ongoing commitment to increase access and prepare more baccalaureate-level nurses in Kansas to meet the rapidly changing health care needs in the state and the country," Miller said.
Nelda Godfrey, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate programs at the KU School of Nursing, said the "signing ceremony" represented an official culmination of the steps needed to implement the new KUCCNP program, which was thoughtfully developed by nursing educators in a "creative collaboration."
"The seamless curriculum model affords students the opportunity to build upon their associate degree education to complete the Bachelor of Science in nursing while remaining in their home communities," Godfrey added.
The shared curriculum program bypasses the traditional pre-licensure associate degree nursing step required for the RN-to-BSN degree program at KU. Students who successfully complete the shared curriculum program and graduate with both degrees will be eligible to sit for the national nursing licensure examination.
Also attending the ceremony were David Martin, director of the RN-to-BSN program, Marge Bott, associate dean for research, and Pam Barnes, associate dean of student affairs.
The University of Kansas-Community College Nursing Partnership was first formed by the KU School of Nursing and 18 community colleges in September 2012 to further nursing educational opportunities in the region. As part of the initial agreement, the partners streamlined the application to KU's online RN-to-BSN program for qualifying students who have an ADN from a participating community college.