The college’s nursing program has created a partnership with the University of Kansas Nursing School to offer a Bachelor’s of Science and Nursing degree. The partnership officially launched at the beginning of the fall semester.
Karen LaMartina is the Director of Nursing at the college. She explained how the partnership started, the process in setting up the partnership and what is involved in the partnership.
“[The nursing program] started working with KU probably about four years ago on this whole idea of partnering with them to have an option for students that are wanting to be in our nursing program, to be concurrently enrolled in the upper-level baccalaureate coursework at KU for the BSN,” LaMartina said. “[The partnership] is just an optional track, they don’t have to do it that way. It’s gonna work great for some students and some students it won’t. It’s very rigorous, it’s about 18 hours a semester so it’s a lot of coursework.”
Nelda Godfrey is the Associate Dean for the School of Nursing at KU Medical Center. She explained the partnership from the KU’s viewpoint as well as the benefit of the partnership for incoming nursing students.
“We are just thrilled to be able to work with our community college partners,” Godfrey said. “We’re very pleased to partner with [the college.] We do this so that those students are better able to market themselves. They will be able to graduate from [the college] since they would have already completed their bachelor’s degree.”
The only applicant that qualified for the partnership this semester was Shelli Kramer. This is her first semester as a nursing student. She spoke about when she decided to become a nurse, how she heard about the partnership and what the program has been like so far.
“I’ve always been interested in nursing ever since I was a kid. I grew up with numerous different health issues and I wanted to be the one who helped people feel better so that has always been a passion of mine,” Kramer said. “I was really interested with [the college] being such a wonderful school that it is. When the opportunity came up [to be a part of the partnership], I’m like, ‘Yeah!,’ I can stay here and do all of my classes and get my bachelor’s degree when I’m done. I can study at a great facility with great faculty. The other thing that drew me to [the partnership] was the fact that it would save me a year of school.”
Kramer also mentioned why she recommends applying for the partnership and what made the partnership beneficial.
“Most hospitals now are wanting you to have a BA before they hire you,” Kramer said. “I think it provides greater job opportunities. It would allow the student to choose if they go on to get a BA or even a master’s degree. For me, it’s one less year of school and more time to actually spend with my family. I think it’s actually a little bit less expensive, it’s also less expensive than going for a four year degree so there’s that to consider as well. If you have the ability to manage your time and you’ve got the drive, then you will be successful in the program.”
Students can find out more on the college’s nursing program and their partnership with KU on the college’s website. Those interested in admission requirements for the Nursing School at KU Medical Center can visit their website.