Campbell receives Initial Approval Status to start nursing program, enroll 1st students in fall 2014

BUIES CREEK, N.C. -- The N.C. Board of Nursing has granted Campbell University Initial Approval Status to start a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This allows the university to enroll its first cohort of 50 students in the fall of 2014.

“The addition of nursing to Campbell’s health sciences programs facilitates interprofessional education and the opportunity to begin serious work in building the right health care team for the future,” said Nancy Duffy, founding director of Campbell’s nursing program. “This approval will also allow Campbell University to address nursing workforce shortages in Harnett and surrounding counties and help meet the health needs of the North Carolina citizenry.”

Campbell’s first nursing students will receive two years of general education followed by clinical rotations beginning in the fall of 2016. The N.C. Board of Nursing will re-survey Campbell’s nursing program in the spring of 2018, when the first nursing students are expected to graduate. At that time, the university is a candidate to receive full approval status.

Currently, there are more than 1,000 nursing jobs open in areas near Campbell, including Durham, Raleigh, Goldsboro and Smithfield, Duffy said.  “This region of North Carolina is underserved, underinsured and with great need for health care. This is an amazing opportunity to positively impact their outcomes with a nursing workforce that is ready to go in 2018.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics has estimated that the RN workforce needs to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. The Initiative on the Future of Nursing -- an Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Foundation project -- has called on schools to increase the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to 80 percent by 2020.

“Nursing is a wonderful addition to our health programs at Campbell University and to the state of North Carolina,” Campbell President Jerry Wallace said. “First, team work is critical in health care today, and our nursing program will add another dimension to our interprofessional education emphasis. Our nursing students will study and train alongside students in medicine, pharmacy, public health, physical therapy, and physician assistance, creating a learning environment for our students that mimics real health care settings.

“Second, nursing strengthens our mission to serve our neighbors by expanding access to health care, especially to those who are in rural and underserved areas,” Wallace added. “Nursing, like other health professions, is in great demand. I am proud of the leadership that Campbell is taking in meeting  the health needs of the people in the state and region.”

The nursing program is the fifth new academic program related to the health sciences that Campbell has begun in three years. In August 2013, Campbell welcomed a charter class of 160 students to the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine -- the first medical school to open in North Carolina in 35 years. Prior to that, Campbell began its public health and physician assistant programs in 2012 and 2011, respectively.  The Doctor of Physical Therapy program welcomed its first class of 40 students in January 2014.