10/3/2011 - Degree Program in Nursing Pending Approval
Judson Spotlight On...
Degree Program in Nursing Pending Approval
After decades of educating students in pre-professional programs including dentistry, medicine, medical technology, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy and veterinary medicine, Judson College for the first time in her history will offer an associate's degree in nursing.
The decision was made by the Board of Trustees in their meeting on Oct. 7, 2010 after recommendations from the faculty and administration.
The college anticipates adding new courses and faculty in the spring semester in order to offer classes in the fall of 2011, pending approval of accreditors.
"I'm very, very excited about this," said trustee chair Charles Dunkin of Birmingham.
"The board has talked about this seriously for two years or more. There's a real shortage of nurses in the country and the nursing program here fits like a glove. It's a natural outgrowth of our science program and it gives Judson another opportunity to serve the community."
The college first considered a nursing degree program in the early ‘70s and has revisited the issue several times over the years.
"Nursing is the most sought after major by prospective students that Judson heretofore did not offer," said Vice President for Admissions Charlotte Clements. "We believe it's an opportune time to proceed with a quality program."
Judson president Dr. David Potts noted there are more than two dozen other institutions in the state that offer nursing studies, but many qualified applicants are rejected due to enrollment limits. Some reports suggest that up to 140,000 students were turned away from nursing programs in the U.S. last year.
According to health care professionals, the country continues to experience a shortage and the need for trained nurses is critical.
Potts noted that the nursing studies program at Judson will offer a number of advantages over programs in other schools.
"We're a Christian college and the school has always been solid in science and in pre-professional programs in allied health professions," he said.
"We've had remarkable success with our pre-med students. Eighty-four percent of our classes are taught by doctoral level, well-credentialed professors. Judson always receives good marks in faculty-student engagement and has a reputation for providing a strong undergraduate experience."
Judson was recently recognized in "U.S. News and World Report" by their survey of high school guidance counselors. Counselors from USN's "Best High Schools" list of 1,787 schools were asked to rank colleges providing the finest undergraduate education to their students. Judson was among the top 20 in the listing.
Potts said that discussions are ongoing with a hospital in the area to provide clinical education for Judson's nursing students.
"Accreditation by the National League of Nursing cannot be granted until the program begins," he explained, "but the accreditation is retroactive to include those in the first class next fall."
The Judson program will be taught in the Charlotte G. Lowder Science Building, completed in 2001, and in the James I. Harrison Center for Academic Excellence in Jewett Hall, completed in 2003.
"These new facilities have state-of-the art classrooms and equipment and will be a stellar asset to the faculty and students in the program," Potts said.
Emphases in the Judson nursing program will include rural health, since the college has been involved in service projects in its rural setting for many years.
Through the office of Faith-Based Service and Learning, Judson students participate in numerous health projects in partnership with the local public health department and with the "Sowing Seeds of Hope" interfaith initiative. Judson was recently granted candidacy status to offer a bachelor's degree in social work by the Council on Social Work Education.
According to school officials, placement of a nursing school in Perry County would bring healthcare professionals to the area and enable broader spectrums of outreach to children, working adults and seniors.
For more information about Judson's new nursing program, call the office of admissions at 800.447.9472.
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.