Waubonsee Community College nursing students may have an easier time earning their bachelor’s degree thanks to a new agreement with the University of Illinois Chicago.
The board of trustees of the University of Illinois, on behalf of the UIC College of Nursing and UIC Extended Campus, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois, to create a dual-admissions pathway from the Waubonsee associate degree in nursing (ADN) program to UIC’s fully online RN to BSN degree completion program.
The UIC College of Nursing has long been dedicated to educating nurse leaders throughout the state,” said Terri Weaver, dean of the UIC College of Nursing. “Now, through this partnership, we can make a meaningful and almost immediate difference in growing the nursing workforce across the northern region of Illinois at this critical time in health care.
The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This designation highlights the critical role that nurses have around the world, especially during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“We are excited to partner with UIC to give our current and future nursing students the opportunity to continue their education in this important field during this time,” said Jeff Gregor, Dean for Health Professions and Public Service at Waubonsee.
Under the agreement, the dual-admissions pathway will allow nursing students to earn an associate degree in nursing at Waubonsee, while at the same time, enrolling in identified courses which are part of the fully online UIC RN to BSN degree completion program.
Given that high school students are able to begin taking dual credit courses at Waubonsee toward their degree, and that the UIC College of Nursing offers graduate education through a campus based in Chicago and Rockford, the agreement effectively creates a pathway from high school to graduate school all in the Waubonsee Community College district and the immediate surrounding area.
“With this agreement, we can provide a new level of convenience for students at Waubonsee,” said Kate Tredway, director of the UIC College of Nursing RN to BSN degree completion program. “We have a history of Waubonsee nursing graduates joining the UIC RN BSN program. This new collaboration offers an additional option to current and pre nursing students at Waubonsee to participate in a doable, accessible, timely, and affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.”
In January 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked UIC’s online baccalaureate degrees No. 3 in the nation.
Upon successful completion of Waubonsee’s ADN program, students will be awarded their associate degree and continue their progress in the UIC online RN to BSN program. UIC will confer the bachelor’s degree in nursing after graduation requirements are met.
In 2020, Waubonsee had approximately 90 nursing graduates.
“We have all seen the importance of highly trained nurses this year. We are glad to be able to serve our community by providing more people more education and training opportunities and fill the need for more nurses,” said Nora Silvia, Assistant Dean for Health Professions and Public Service at Waubonsee.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. The critical role of the nurse has been amplified as nurses throughout the world employ expertise and compassion in the fight against COVID 19.
The association also says “baccalaureate nursing programs expand on all of the course work taught in associate degree and diploma programs, adding an in-depth treatment of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities.”
Those interested in more information on the UIC ADN/BSN Dual Admission Pathway can visit bsn.ec.uic.edu and scroll down to request to talk to an advisor or visit www.waubonsee.edu/nursing for information about Waubonsee’s nursing program.