Campbell trustees approve nursing degree program

The Campbell University Board of Trustees approved the development of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree as its spring meeting. The proposed start date of the program is fall 2014, subject to approval of the N.C. Board of Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

It will be the fifth major health sciences program launched or announced by Campbell in the last three years. The Physician Assistant program welcomed its first class in 2011, the Master of Public Health program was launched in the fall of 2012, the School of Osteopathic Medicine will open and house its first class of 150 students this fall, and the anticipated Doctor of Physical Therapy program is projected to begin in January 2014.

As with its predecessors, the nursing program will help fill a growing need in North Carolina. The current statewide and nationwide shortage of nurses — coupled with recommendations from the National Institute of Medicine that more nurses be trained at the baccalaureate level — means the overall projected need for degreed nurses will increase by 28 percent over the next decade.

The Initiative on the Future of Nursing — a project of the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Foundation — issued a report recently calling for schools of nursing across the nation to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020.

Campbell’s program, which is expected to house 120 students after four years, will help those numbers.

“Our program will not only educate nurses, it will expand their opportunities to lead and manage in their careers,” said Dr. Ronald Maddox, dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “They will not only meet a growing need for well educated nurses, they will be prepared to meet the growing demands in the field.”

The program will be considered part of the Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, which also houses and will house the new physician assistant, public health and the anticipated physical therapy programs. Space for the incoming faculty and students will be developed through expansion of current facilities, according to the resolution passed by the Board of Trustees on April 24.

Undergraduate degrees at Campbell University require a minimum of 128 credit hours and can be awarded in four years.  Students will take basic sciences and general core requirements in the first two years (the pre-nursing sequence) and professional nursing courses with clinical and laboratory components in the third and fourth years contingent upon the North Carolina Board of Nursing approval.

“Nursing is a popular request of prospective students,” said Jason Hall, assistant vice president for admissions. “This endeavor will allow the admissions office to work with new students who are considering nursing and looking for a University such as Campbell to satisfy their educational aspirations.”

The establishment of the nursing program and degree will require the additional approval of the North Carolina Board of Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

“Campbell is educating highly trained and skilled health care professionals, and this nursing program fits well with our mission,” said Benjamin Thompson, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Nursing complements our new and existing programs well, and we couldn’t be more excited about Campbell University’s future.”