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UI College of Nursing, Eastern Iowa Community College Announce New 3+1.5 Nursing Partnership

Dean Julie Zerwic and Chancellor Don Doucette

The University of Iowa College of Nursing and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) have entered into a new agreement allowing EICC nursing graduates to seamlessly transfer to the University of Iowa and complete their Bachelors of Nursing Science (BSN) degree in a year and a half.

The articulation agreement, called RN to BSN 3+1.5, is significant for both EICC nursing students who want to pursue their BSN and the healthcare community as the need for nurses continues to rise. By enrolling in this online program, qualifying EICC students who have completed their nursing degree can continue their education by attaining their BSN through UI’s Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program.

EICC has campuses in Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott counties.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the national average compared to other jobs. The Iowa Board of Nursing reports that nearly half (44.9 percent) of registered nurses in Iowa are age 50 or older. The new partnership will enable EICC graduates to help fill the void of retiring nurses while allowing them to continue working in their communities as they complete their degree.

UI College of Nursing Dean Julie Zerwic and EICC’s Nursing Program Director Lori Haugen introduced the new agreement at Scott Community College in Bettendorf on Thursday, Nov. 29.

“This agreement provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to continue their education,” said Haugen. “We are excited the University of Iowa recognizes the quality of our nursing program and values EICC graduates.”

“The University of Iowa College of Nursing is pleased to formalize this 3+1.5 agreement with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges,” said Dean Zerwic. “UI’s RN to BSN program is designed for Associate’s Degree and diploma-prepared RNs who are ready to expand their nursing skills and professional potential by earning the BSN. This new articulation agreement will provide qualifying EICC nursing students a fast track to continue their educational journey by offering a seamless transition into our nationally ranked RN to BSN program.”

Ranked fourth in the country, UI’s RN to BSN online program provides access to baccalaureate education for nurses across the state. Nurses who graduate from this program acquire knowledge and skills that help enhance their ability to provide quality care to diverse patient populations that have increasingly complex health care needs.

“This articulation agreement opens up great possibilities for those seeking nursing education in the Quad City area and beyond,” noted UI President Bruce Harreld. “This agreement is a model for the ways in which public higher education institutions in Iowa can work together to provide the best opportunities possible for Iowans.”

In February 2018, UI entered into a similar agreement with North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, allowing its students to seamlessly transfer to UI to complete their Bachelors of Nursing Science degree in one year.

Since its inception in 1898, the UI College of Nursing has been focused on educating the next generation of nurses. Today, as the profession regionally and nationally struggles to meet the needs of a growing patient population with more complex health needs, college leaders say they are at the forefront of creating new programs and conducting meaningful research that will empower nurses to take on new management and leadership roles in hospitals and clinics.

“The University of Iowa College of Nursing has an impressive history of leadership in nursing education and research,” says Zerwic, the eighth dean of the college. “As we move forward, we constantly seek out new education methods that will ensure that our students have the skills they need to lead interdisciplinary health care teams to tackle future health challenges.”

The college offers multiple advanced degrees, including master degrees, doctor of nursing practice degrees, and PhD degrees. The doctor of nursing practice degree is the newest program offered and includes focuses in family medicine, psychiatry, and anesthesiology. The UI is the only school in Iowa to offer a nursing PhD program, the goal of which is to educate nurse scientists who can find new solutions to symptom management and health education and promotion.

Every year, US News & World Report ranks the college among the best in the nation for nurse education. This year, the college’s nursing service administration program was ranked the second-best in the nation, and the college’s clinical nurse leader degree and adult/gerontology acute care program ranked seventh and ninth, respectively. Many more of the college’s programs are ranked within the top 20 nationally, including its nurse anesthesia program, pediatric nurse practitioner program, doctor of nursing practice program, and family nurse practitioner program.

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Posted On: 
Nov 29th, 2018