Illinois College offers new four-year path to nursing degree
Illinois College and St. John’s College of Nursing have expanded their partnership to give students a four-year path to earning two degrees in nursing and health sciences.
This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for Illinois College students to achieve their dreams through a dual program that highlights the strengths of two top colleges. We will look back on this step as a very important moment for both institutions.
A joint press conference was held Wednesday to announce the new program and formally sign the agreement, which outlines a path for students to spend two years at Illinois College and transition to coursework at St. John’s College of Nursing for years three and four. Graduates of the program will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from St. John’s and a Bachelor of Arts degree in health sciences from IC.
While the colleges have previously been involved in agreements, this new partnership is unique and will have increased benefits for both institutions and for students interested in pursuing a nursing career. According to Illinois College President Barbara A. Farley, this new program offers students a nursing degree faster and with fewer financial barriers than with previous agreements, saving the student both time and money.
“This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for Illinois College students to achieve their dreams through a dual program that highlights the strengths of two top colleges,” said President Farley. “We will look back on this step as a very important moment for both institutions.”
Nursing students in the program will have the benefit of academic innovation from both campuses, with coursework that emphasizes the critical thinking and communication skills needed to be a successful nurse. While completing coursework in Springfield, students will continue to have the option to live in Jacksonville in IC’s campus housing and participate in extracurricular activities for all four years.
Dr. Charlene Aaron, St. John’s College of Nursing chancellor, said she was pleased with the enhanced partnership which leverages the expertise and strengths of each college in order to best serve students. St. John’s is known for providing innovative curriculum and hands-on learning that prepares students for continuously changing healthcare environments. Chancellor Aaron said she is confident that the collaboration between the colleges will prepare students for successful careers in healthcare.
Allison Paul, St. John’s Hospital chief nursing officer, believes that the program will also be of great benefit to surrounding communities and local hospitals.
“There is a nursing shortage and we have a large number of vacancies,” she said. “We know that if we are recruiting students in this area, there is a good chance of retaining nurses in this community.”
All incoming, first-year and sophomore Illinois College students are eligible to apply for the 2+2 Nursing Program. For more information, visit www.ic.edu/nursing or contact Illinois College admission at 217.245.3030.