Keene State College Launches New Nursing Program Meeting Statewide Need, Building Opportunity
February 28, 2011 Keene, New Hampshire: Today Keene State College (KSC), pending NH Board of Nursing and NEASC approval, is announcing the creation of a new program of study to meet the impending need for nurses throughout New Hampshire, across the region and nationwide. KSC's nursing program will begin enrolling students for Fall 2011.
The program will have two distinct components and program areas. One will be a Pre-Licensure stream and one will be a R.N. Completion stream. The first is aimed at students with no experience or background in nursing. This stream provides all the necessary preparation to enter the nursing profession. The second stream meets the needs of those already working or qualified to work as nurses and prepares them to take on greater roles and responsibilities in the healthcare field.
The new program directly responds to repeated challenge issued by Governor Lynch throughout his tenure: A call to action to meet the increasing need for nurses in New Hampshire's healthcare system.
With a clear mission to serve the region, KSC - in close collaboration with both the University System of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire - is now prepared to play a key role in fulfilling that challenge.
President of Keene State College, Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, said, "We are so pleased the College is evolving in this way. Our new nursing program is exactly what we should be doing as a public liberal arts college; equipping students with critical skills that help them achieve their goals while, at the same time, preparing new cohorts of graduates to serve our communities in the most vital ways."
Looking out to the year 2025 it is projected that there will be a nationwide nursing shortage of 500,000 nurses. With an aging regional/national population and with awareness of the critical role played by nurses in the health and wellness field, KSC is paying attention to bellwether trends and responding with a common sense approach. In order to be able to meet projected shortfalls, enrollment in nursing programs would have to increase by 40% to replace the nurses who are expected to exit the field via retirement alone. The scope of this near-and medium-term gap cannot be met with existing programs.
According to Dr. Melinda Treadwell, Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies at Keene State College, "We've been working very hard to develop the best possible program to meet the needs of current and future students. In doing that we've drawn on the depth and expertise of many highly accomplished people to ensure that we have a top quality academic course of study in place; one that challenges our students and helps them grow and one that ensures we are graduating highly trained individuals prepared to enter a very demanding and rewarding professional world."
Successful applicant to the Pre-Licensure program stream will begin their course of study in September 2011.
Successful applicants to the R.N. Completion program stream will begin their course of study in January 2012.