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Dordt College News

Briar Cliff, Dordt College Sign Nursing Program Agreement

September 5, 2003

Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa and Dordt College, in Sioux Center, Iowa announce they have entered into a partnership designed to increase access to baccalaureate nursing education in western Iowa.

Under the terms of the cooperative agreement, Dordt health science students will have the opportunity to take the Briar Cliff upper division RN-to-BSN course sequence on Dordt’s campus during their fourth and final year of training, dovetailing a Dordt College bachelor of arts in health science (BHS) degree with Briar Cliff’s accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN). This four-year program meets the requirements of the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission). Graduates of the BHS program also acquire an associate’s degree in nursing and active RN licensure. Signing the Agreement

This cooperative agreement is an enhancement of the articulation agreement the two faith-based colleges signed last year. The primary goal of the cooperative RN-to-BSN completion nursing program is to provide the opportunity for students enrolled at Dordt College to complete coursework on Dordt’s campus toward a bachelor of health science from Dordt College and a bachelor of science in nursing from Briar Cliff University. A secondary goal of the RN-to-BSN completion program is to provide area nurses consistent local access to a BSN completion program.

Dr. Ruth Dankanich Daumer, the chairperson for Briar Cliff’s department of nursing, is enthused by the possibilities that this agreement provides. “We are excited to be able to offer high-quality baccalaureate nursing education to the excellent students at Dordt College on their home campus,” said Dr. Daumer. “This partnership provides health science students seamless access to the BSN. It also provides an opportunity for Dordt College and BCU to collaborate on an academic program that is highly consistent with their missions while responding to the nursing shortage in our region.”

According to Daumer, only 33% of the nation’s nurses hold bachelors degrees and that number is considerably smaller (15%) in Siouxland. Additionally, The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service recommends that at least 66% of the nursing workforce hold a BSN or higher degree.

“As one of only two Iowa BSN programs west of Des Moines, we are particularly excited that this partnership provides us a launch pad in which to consistently serve the educational needs of current students, practicing nurses and their employers north of Sioux City. Today and tomorrow’s nurses require a complex range of knowledge and competencies to meet the demands of their increasingly diverse and complex roles as health care providers,” said Dr. Daumer. “The BSN degree gives the student a well-rounded liberal arts education as well as a solid knowledge and skill set in nursing. They are prepared to successfully adapt to the growing demands of promoting and restoring the health of the public as well as their profession,” said Daumer. “It is especially important to us that we are able to partner with a sister institution that has a strong commitment and a rich tradition in blending service and learning within a faith-based context.”

Pamela L. Hulstein, director of health sciences at Dordt College, agrees. “The BSN cooperative agreement with Briar Cliff University provides another opportunity for Dordt College students to receive a high quality faith-based professional degree in the health science field. We are excited about our newest academic partnership with a sister institution in the Siouxland area.”

A cooperative agreement has been drawn up to formalize the relationship between the two schools. A joint signing of the agreement was held Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Assisi Room of the Stark Student Center at Briar Cliff in Sioux City. The agreement will go into effect immediately, with classes beginning on Dordt College’s campus in September of 2004.

This one-year sequence includes theoretical, clinical, research and leadership courses in nursing. Dordt Health Science majors who take advantage of this program should be able to complete this additional course work during the 4th year of their BHS program.

Dordt College, a Christian college located in Sioux Center, Iowa, enrolls approximately 1,350 students in over 40 academic programs leading to associate, bachelors and masters degrees.

Briar Cliff University is a Catholic institution with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students from 27 states. Students are educated in the Franciscan tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and preparation for professional success in an environment of care and compassion for the community.

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