University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld speaks during a state Board of Regents meeting in the IMU main lounge on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harreld signs agreement to expand nursing program

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As the result of a new partnership between the University of Iowa and the Des Moines Area Community College, DMACC Nursing graduates will be able to finish their Bachelors of Nursing Science from the UI in one year; the agreement is entitled “RN to BSN 3+1.”

UI President Bruce Harreld signed an agreement Tuesday with DMACC President Rob Denson at the Iowa Higher Education Center, 2500 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, Iowa to establish the partnership.

After studying nursing at DMACC for three years, students can then complete their BSN through the UI’s online program in only one year. DMACC Nursing graduates who have entered the workforce also have the option to return to DMACC for an additional year before transferring to the UI for a final year to earn their BSN.

In the DMACC’s announcement, Harreld said the UI’s top priority is to “provide an affordable and accessible education for the citizens of our state.”

“This articulation agreement between the UI College of Nursing and DMACC is a model for the ways in which public higher education institutions in our state can work together to provide the best opportunities possible for Iowans,” Harreld said.

RELATED: UIHC, nursing school face nurse shortage

The agreement comes at a time when Iowa is experiencing a statewide nursing shortage. According to the DMACC announcement, “more than one-fifth of Iowa’s nursing workforce is eligible to retire right now.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2024, there will be 1.09 million registered nurse job openings.

DMACC Director of Nursing Kendra Ericson said in the announcement 21 percent of DMACC graduates plan to continue studying in the UI’s and DMACC’s combined program, and DMACC anticipates that percentage will grow.

“This agreement demonstrates the collaborative efforts between the University of Iowa and DMACC in meeting the state’s goal of 50 percent BSN prepared nurses in Iowa by 2020 and ensuring a highly skilled nursing workforce in Iowa,” she said.

— by DI staff

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