(Denver, CO) – On August 15, fifteen carefully selected, first-year nursing students will begin their journey toward a Bachelor of Science (BS) in nursing degree – a journey that will begin at the Community College of Denver (CCD) and end at the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing on the Anschutz Medical Campus (CU CON). The goals of the Integrated Nursing Pathway (INP) program are to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses, enhance the diversity in the nursing profession, create a seamless progression to BS in nursing and provide students with an early introduction to the profession of nursing in the context of quality and safety which better educates students about the profession.
In a partnership with CU CON, and with scholarships provided by Kaiser Permanente, CCD will launch its first-ever Integrated Nursing Pathway (INP) program with the onset of the fall 2014 semester. To apply for the INP program, students had to have first completed nine prerequisite classes. In the 2014-15 academic year, the fifteen participants will take another nine classes at CCD and, upon successful completion of required course work, will graduate from CCD with an Associate of General Studies degree and transition to the CU CON Anschutz medical campus where complete the nursing program and receive upon graduation a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing (BS in nursing).
“The INP program benefits both students seeking a meaningful career and healthcare providers who want to hire baccalaureate-prepared nurses. It provides seamless progression to a BSN, dual academic advising from both institutions and a cohort education model which provides students with support from their classmates,” said Dr. Bernice Harris, Ph.D. and provost at Community College of Denver.
“We’re committed to improving healthcare outcomes in Colorado, and having baccalaureate-prepared nurses on staff increases a hospital’s survival rate by 50 percent,’ said Sarah A. Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the CU CON. “Through these nursing pathway programs, not only are students’ careers enhanced, but patients in Colorado also get better care”
The INP program utilized a competitive application process and attracted a top-quality, diverse pool of applicants. Thirty-one students applied for admittance, twenty-one students with 3.0+ grade point averages were selected for interviews: 11 had a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and 8 students had a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher. Of the fifteen students admitted to the program, nine represent minority populations, many of whom are also first in their families to attend college.
A major benefit to INP students is a two-year cost savings; core class coursework at CCD is approximately 60 percent less expensive than those same classes at a four-year institution.
While benefits for students are obvious, the partnership provides a win-win scenario for CCD and CU CON. Together the two schools attract a diverse student population that will better reflect the diversity of the patient population they will serve.
Many of the students would not be able to succeed in a demanding full-time program without financial assistance. Through a major partnership with the Foundation for Community Colleges, Kaiser Permanente is supporting a matching grant program which focuses on reaching students studying or living in communities where there is a shortage of medical professionals. This grant program from Kaiser Permanente provided the CCD Foundation with $20,250 in scholarships that were awarded to the INP students.
“Now more than ever, there is an urgent need in Colorado and across the nation for well-educated, culturally competent health care providers,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “Nurses are essential to the future of health care and we are thrilled to support these students so they can receive the training and skills that will allow them to enter into a rewarding career in nursing.
For more information, contact Kathy Welsch at 303.352.3321.
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Community College of Denver (CCD) is a leading point of entry to higher education for the City and County of Denver. CCD provides a cost effective, high quality college education, along with access and opportunity for non-traditional students, workforce development, training resources for local organizations, and community partnerships.