Freeport, Illinois — Highland Community College nursing students have an opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Lewis University and step into a job at FHN through an agreement with Lewis University and a partnership with FHN to have students transition from Highland’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree to the RN-BSN program at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.
Lewis University has been a partner with FHN since 2005, with a large percentage of Highland graduates working at FHN after graduation from Highland Community College. Lewis University offers hybrid courses taught at FHN. The partnership allows Highland students to work and study in the area, promoting health care in the region, as well as education.
Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Jen Grobe, PhD, RN, CNE, said, “I feel that this is an excellent opportunity to promote HCC Nursing and Allied Health’s goal of continuing education for our graduates. We strive for 80 percent of our grads to be enrolled in a BSN program within one year of graduation. So far, we are on target for this coming year. As professionals, nurses need to continue to learn every day. The formalized partnership with Lewis ensures that students have additional pathways to BSN and beyond. This is a win-win for our students and the patients who will receive excellent care in our region as a result of Highland, Lewis, and FHN coming together.”
The agreement follows a similar path as other course articulations and agreements Highland has with BSN programs in the area. By providing the simple transfer opportunity, Highland nursing graduates past and present will move quickly to the BSN level while staying local. The course work is offered in an online format, as well as a blended format with face-to-face classes every other week at FHN.
The agreement also provides an enhanced partnership between the largest educator of nurses and the largest employer of nurses in our area. The current climate of health care has enhanced the need for a speedy, consistent, and articulated transition from ADN to BSN.
Chief Nursing Officer at FHN Kathy Martinez, MSN, RN, said the FHN partnership with Lewis University is a hybrid model for courses on-site, and a way to decrease the time from ADN to BSN for current nurses. The overall impacts include reduced tuition and time of education for the nurse, as well as an increase in the number of BSN prepared nurses from Highland to FHN. Martinez said this also increases the quality of care with the BSN degree.
“FHN has had a very successful relationship with both Highland Community College and Lewis University for many years,” Martinez said. “Since 2005, our affiliation with Lewis University has allowed our nursing team members to obtain their BSN degree through a hybrid program of online education and in-person on the FHN campus. We look forward to the new enhancements to this collaborative program and its overall positive impact on our nurses as the FHN Nursing.”
For more on Highland’s nursing program, visit highland.edu/academics/nursing.