September 13, 2012
|Karen Miller Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Dean, School of Nursing and School of Health Professions|
It is such an exciting time for nursing in Kansas.
Two years ago, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which serves as a blueprint for our profession and nursing education programs. The report recounts evidence that nurses with higher levels of education provide better care at the bedside and it calls for programs like ours to provide pathways for nurses to continue their education.
Standards for nursing practice at all levels have been revised to reflect the essential role of nurses on the health care team, in access to care and in the lives of patients and families. Today, hospitals are increasingly demanding bachelor's prepared nurses. We must ensure that the nursing workforce in Kansas can meet that demand, and that nurses throughout our region have the opportunity to earn an affordable baccalaureate degree without having to leave their home communities.
This week, we hosted our colleagues from 17 associate degree nursing programs from across Kansas and within the metro area. These college leaders came together to sign a progressive agreement that expands KU RN-BSN program, providing greater opportunity for nurses to advance their careers from home. Leaders and nursing directors came from as far away as Seward County Community College in Liberal, Garden City Community College, and Neosho County Community College to demonstrate their commitment to high-quality nursing education in our state.The new partnership offers a closely coordinated transition process for those practicing nurses and associate degree nurses who wish to complete the bachelor's degree.
Under this new agreement, community college faculty will play a central role in the success of the program by both assisting the students' transition and teaching some of the courses. Master's and doctorally prepared faculty at these sites have already begun teaching in this program and we will continue to work with our partner community colleges and local clinical sites to ensure these nurses have a convenient, high quality baccalaureate education.
At the University of Kansas, it is our mission to serve all Kansans. The KU-Community Colleges Nursing Partnership benefits both nurses in their careers and the health of their communities.