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Healthy Times - Fall 2005

CHP Partnerships
BSN Completion: Delivering education to hospitals

A partnership between UDM and hospital systems brings educational opportunities to nurses where they work. Once they are licensed and on the job, many nurses find they are unable to get back to the University to pursue a higher degree because their work schedules are so demanding.

In 1999 the McAuley School of Nursing developed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion program that now operates in more than a dozen hospitals in metro Detroit. Partners include Trinity Health, St. John Health System, Oakwood Healthcare System, Beaumont Hospital and most recently the Detroit Medical Center.

It’s a partnership that helps hospitals improve the educational level and the retention rate of their staffs. The hospitals provide tuition assistance and classroom space. Hospital administrators work closely with UDM nursing faculty to make sure the program runs smoothly.

“There’s good communication back and forth to facilitate the program. Without that it probably wouldn’t work,” says Assistant Professor Bonnie Korn, the chair of the BSN completion program.

Going online

Trinity Health operates hospitals in six other states that also have many nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree. When Trinity Health administrators saw the success of the BSN completion program in metro Detroit, they provided seed funding to help develop an online version. Currently around 30 nurses in four time zones are enrolled in the program.

That innovative program has in turn made the original classroom program at local hospitals even more convenient. Some students do coursework online at home and meet with a faculty member once a week to go over what they have learned.