NEWBERRY – Newberry College has expanded its nursing program to increase the number of candidates admitted to the Pre-Licensure Nursing major by one third.
Nursing programs throughout the country are at capacity for the number of students they can admit, according to a report by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce.
According the report, a projected 1.6 million job openings will be available for nurses by 2020, roughly divided evenly between new jobs and replacement positions for retiring Baby Boomers.
“Interest in the nursing profession continues to grow among prospective students, but our program has operated at capacity for several years,” said Nursing department chair Betsy McDowell, Ph.D, RN, CNE, ANEF. “This expansion will provide more students with access to the opportunity for careers in this in-demand field.”
When the incoming class of aspiring nurses is admitted to Newberry’s Pre-Licensure Nursing program each fall of their junior year, available seats are quickly filled. In response to sustained interest from students and growing demand within the industry for qualified professionals, Newberry College is expanding its program.
Currently, 24 students are admitted to the Pre-Licensure Nursing program once per year in the fall semester. Beginning with the spring 2017 semester, an additional 16 seats will open up to aspiring nurses.
After that, the program will fill 16 seats each spring and fall semester for a total of 32 seats per year, increasing by 33 percent the number of seats available each year in the Pre-Licensure Nursing program.
To accommodate the increased enrollment, the program will add one new full-time faculty member and one adjunct professor for the spring 2017 semester. Another full-time faculty member and an adjunct professor will be added for the spring 2018 semester.
Newberry will continue its partnership with Lexington Medical Center as the primary site for clinicals, the portion of their program in which students apply classroom knowledge to actual patient care under the supervision of master’s prepared nursing instructors.
“Not only does this expansion increase access to one of our most popular majors, it also offers greater flexibility to students,” said Dr. Timothy Elston, vice president for Academic Affairs.
Previously, Newberry College’s nursing program offered one start per year in the fall semester. Because of the program’s lockstep course sequence, if a student missed the fall start, they waited an entire year for the next fall start. With the expansion of the program, Newberry is now able to offer both fall and spring starts, providing greater flexibility and convenience for students in the timing of when they enter and graduate from the program.
Newberry College offers a Healthcare Management minor for students in any major who may have an interest in health-related fields.
Newberry also offers Pre-Professional Health Professions programs, which provide undergraduate education aimed at preparing students for graduate studies in a variety of health professions, including dentistry, medicine, chiropractic, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy and veterinary medicine.
Newberry College currently is retooling its RN to BSN completion track to provide a more flexible and direct path to a bachelor’s degree for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The baccalaureate degree is gaining in popularity as the preferred credential for a growing number of RN opportunities, particularly among nursing professionals seeking to take on administrative and leadership roles.
For more information about Nursing or other healthcare-focused degree programs at Newberry College, go to www.newberry.edu or call 803.321.5127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story courtesy of Newberry College.