College of Nursing Announces New Program

Contact: Jill Holder

Photo of Karen Stefaniak, associate hospital director and chief nursing officer, UK Hospital; Christine Mays, vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, Saint Joseph Healthcare; and Beth Bevins, a nurse at UK Hospital, discussing the importance of the new UK College of Nursing Second Degree B.S.N. option.
Karen Stefaniak, associate hospital director and chief nursing officer, UK Hospital; Christine Mays, vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, Saint Joseph Healthcare; and Beth Bevins, a nurse at UK Hospital, discuss the importance of the new UK College of Nursing Second Degree B.S.N. option.

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“UK College of Nursing and its partners, UK Hospital and Saint Joseph Healthcare, are responding to a growing problem. The nursing shortage is a major health care problem and it impacts everyone. We need to expand nursing resources in order to deal with the future.”

-- Carolyn A. Williams,
dean,
UK College of Nursing

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2004) -- In an effort to respond to the growing shortage of nurses nationwide, the University of Kentucky College of Nursing will offer the Second Degree B.S.N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) option, beginning June 10, 2004. The degree is for those who desire a nursing career, but have a bachelor’s degree in another field. A career in nursing offers advancement potential, a flexible work schedule, competitive salary, work variety and job security.

UK Hospital and Saint Joseph Healthcare are contributing partial funding for this new nursing career option.

“UK College of Nursing and its partners, UK Hospital and Saint Joseph Healthcare, are responding to a growing problem,” said Carolyn A. Williams, R.N., Ph.D., dean, UK College of Nursing. “The nursing shortage is a major health care problem and it impacts everyone. We need to expand nursing resources in order to deal with the future.”

“Saint Joseph Healthcare recognizes the deepening national shortage of nurses and other health care professionals,” said Christine Mays, vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. “As a result, Saint Joseph Healthcare has undertaken a number of initiatives to increase the supply of nurse and other professionals in Central Kentucky. Partnering with the University of Kentucky on this degree program option is another way we can serve the needs of our community and increase the number of professional nurses to help meet future demand.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million new and replacement nurses are needed by 2012. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified registered nursing as the top occupation in terms of job growth through the year 2012.

Second-degree program options that prepare new registered nurses are becoming a national trend. The UK College of Nursing has received expressions of interest from more than 600 potential applicants over the past two years.

“UK Hospital and Saint Joseph Healthcare are eager to work together to meet the needs of the community,” said Karen Stefaniak, R.N., Ph.D., associate hospital director and chief nursing officer, UK Hospital.

“These students have other professional experience, and now they are committed to health care. Their other degrees provide excellent foundations for nursing. We have several nurses at UK Hospital who chose nursing as a second profession, and they are incredible,” Stefaniak said.

“There are so many people in the workforce who are unhappy with their career choices” said Dorothy Brockopp, R.N., Ph.D., professor and assistant dean for undergraduate studies, UK College of Nursing. “The candidates for our program option are people who bring previous life and work experiences with them. In general, they are mature individuals who have been academically successful who want to return to school to make a career change.”

Second Degree B.S.N. students will be prepared to take the nursing licensure exam in four and one-half semesters. This option allows two sophomore-level nursing courses to be collapsed into an eight-week, intensive course with daily classes. The curriculum will include a combination of classroom, laboratory and supervised clinical-setting instruction.

The deadline to apply for the second series of classes for the Second Degree B.S.N. option (scheduled to begin in October, 2004) is May 1, 2004. For more information about the UK College of Nursing and its Second Degree B.S.N. option, call (859) 323-6135.


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