FSCC, KU partner on nursing degree program

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fort Scott Community College nursing students have an opportunity to earn a four-year nursing degree without leaving the college’s campus.

FSCC Nursing Director Bill Rhoads updated the FSCC Board of Trustees Monday on a partnership between FSCC and the University of Kansas School of Nursing for a program that allows nursing students to complete an associate degree in nursing at FSCC and a bachelor of science in nursing at KU at the same time. Students take face-to-face instruction at FSCC and KU nursing courses online. The program will be implemented Jan. 1.

Rhoads said the KU program to partner with community colleges began about four or five years ago.

“It’s a shared partnership model with community colleges,” he said. “FSCC was the last of six community colleges to launch. I just got the approval letter this month.”

In the dual enrollment program, nursing students can receive credit from the KU School of Nursing for courses taken at FSCC, allowing students who participate the opportunity to graduate with their associate degree and bachelor’s degree in nursing at the same time.

“We’re part of the original group to apply for the partnership,” Rhoads said.

FSCC President Alysia Johnston said in her report she received formal notification by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing that commissioners “thoroughly reviewed the substantive change report for the associate nursing program at FSCC and approved the dual enrollment agreement with the baccalaureate nursing program” at the KU School of Nursing.

“We have to be an accredited program in the state,” she said.

In the four-year education plan, students must apply for both nursing programs and meet pre-requisites and entrance requirements, Rhoads said.

“And after four years, they earn an associate of applied science in nursing from FSCC and a BSN degree from KU,” he said. “It’s a unique program in that students never have to leave Fort Scott to get a degree.”

Board Chairman John Bartelsmeyer said he thinks the program is “fantastic.”

“They can take all four years here. I think that’s great,” he said.

In response to a question from Trustee Bernita Hill, Rhoads said he doesn’t anticipate the need to add more faculty for the program.

Trustee Robert Nelson asked where students in the nursing program complete their clinicals. Rhoads said facilities used include Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, Girard Medical Center, Nevada Regional Medical Center and Osawatomie State Hospital. Clinicals are included in the FSCC curriculum.

“We’re really proud of that program,” Johnston said.