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Dordt College News

Enhanced partnership will benefit nursing students

September 1, 2009

Dordt & St. Luke's

Dordt College and St. Luke’s College have partnered together in offering nursing education for nearly a decade. As of September 1, the cooperative agreement has just gotten better.

A signing ceremony, held Tuesday in Sioux City, formally announces a new and improved consortium agreement. The agreement benefits nursing students in St. Luke’s College’s Associate of Science in Nursing degree program and Dordt College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program.

The consortium agreement extends the formal relationship between the colleges, and “is the best means possible of serving our students,” says Erik Hoekstra, Provost at Dordt College. By being simultaneously enrolled at the two institutions consortium students are able to benefit from:

“I’m really thrilled on behalf of students that our two institutions made it happen,” said Dr. Pam Hulstein, Director of Nursing at Dordt College. “It is a really good forward step that enhances both of our programs.” Hulstein says the B.S.N. program combines the best of a liberal arts education with solid professional education, giving graduates the widest spectrum of job opportunities in the nursing field.

With over 100 years of experience, St. Luke’s College’s nursing education program was the pioneer for nursing education in Siouxland. The unique advantage of being a hospital based college, coupled with an experienced and dedicated team of nurse educators creates an environment for teaching and learning that produces graduates who consistently lead the region and the state in success on the nursing licensure examination. “St. Luke’s College has been very happy with our partnership with Dordt College and is excited to implement the new consortium agreement,” says Michael Stiles, Chancellor of St. Luke’s College.

Dordt College began its B.S.N. degree program in 2005, and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The enrollment has steadily increased since then, with 100 students currently enrolled.

The A.S.N. program at St. Luke’s College continues to be approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. “We consider the opportunity to serve students seeking a nursing career with our partner, Dordt College, a wonderful prospect. With the national and global nursing shortage persisting this is an important time for the nursing profession to collaborate to reach as many potential nurses as possible,” says Jodi Kolar, Chairperson, Department of Nursing Education at St. Luke’s.

The majority of clinical instruction takes place at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, where students receive experience in medical-surgical, obstetric, neonatal, intensive care, geriatric, oncology, surgery, emergency/outpatient, and psychiatric care. Upon successful completion of the program at St. Luke’s College, students receive the associate of science in nursing degree and are eligible to apply for the National Counsel Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for registered nurses. The consortium students are also eligible for continued enrollment at Dordt College in the B.S.N. degree completion program.

Graduates have provided overwhelmingly positive comments regarding their satisfaction with the St. Luke’s College nursing program. Employers consistently rate the performance of St. Luke’s graduates above average as beginning nurses. Dordt B.S.N. degree graduates have enjoyed a 100 percent employment rate, and 100 percent of those applying to graduate school have also been accepted.

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