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Healthy Times - Fall 2005

CHP Partnerships
Grand Rapids Nursing Pre-Licensure Program: Expanding the University's reach

The BSN completion program with St. Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids was the catalyst for another unique educational program. The McAuley School of Nursing now offers its pre-licensure undergraduate program to western Michigan students in partnership with Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and St. Mary’s Health Care.

Students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from UDM while taking all their classes at Aquinas. They benefit from a broad liberal arts and science education from Aquinas, while UDM faculty give the same quality of instruction in nursing available at the McNichols Campus. Saint Mary’s Health Care provides the clinical component.

“All three institutions have very similar missions and values, so the students are immersed in the culture of service, learning, spirituality, diversity and cultural sensitivity,” says Robi Thomas, an assistant professor at the McAuley School of Nursing and chair of the Grand Rapids program.

The program also has served as a good recruiting tool for Saint Mary’s Health, which hired 10 of the 12 students in the inaugural class that graduated in May 2004.