Caring About the Future - OSF's Commitment to Nursing Education
Unique partnership with Rockford community college aims to grow nursing needs locally
OSF HealthCare's 140 years of commitment to the medical needs of those we serve includes more than a century of providing training to the dedicated professionals who select nursing as their career calling. With Colleges of Nursing in both Peoria and Rockford, OSF has educated thousands of persons in caring for the sick.
A lot has changed in 100 years, however, and nurses are being asked and required to take on more responsibility in the care and treatment of the patient.
Rockford's Saint Anthony College of Nursing (SACN) has evolved with the times, offering Bachelor's of Nursing, RN's to Bachelor's and Masters of Science Nursing degrees, plus Doctors of Nurse Practitioner degrees. The technology and training labs have been upgraded to follow suit.
Now, SACN is ready to take another exciting step, moving from it's nearly 50 year old school building, next to OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, to the nearby campus of Rock Valley College. SACN Associate Dean of Support Services, Nancy Sanders, says an advantage of being on a college campus is experiencing students pursuing other disciplines.
"This way they can interact with students from all kinds of backgrounds", says Sanders. Have a chance to have some community access and the resources that are available by being on a bigger campus".
The colleges are sharing space in a new 117,000 foot Health Sciences Center that includes 13 classrooms, 10 laboratories, testing rooms, study areas and a student lounge. It's designed to foster collaboration between the two programs and encourage Rock Valley nursing students to advance their associate degree.
"Whether the student wants to go traditionally and go two plus two, Rock Valley College for two years with the general ed and come straight to use for their Bachelor's degree", says Sanders. Or if they want to get their Associates degree in nursing and then transfer to us with and RN to BSN, we can still accomodate. And we work very closely together, anyway. So, it's a really teriffic fit".
SACN faculty and staff are anxious to get the new school year started. Mary Jo Frichtl, a long time assistant professor at the college, believes the fresh environment will be wonderful for students and a great place for them to learn and grow.
"I'm excited about furthering the Sisters' Mission with OSF and health care and nursing education", says Frichtl. And it's just an exciting time for the college. We're gorwing in leaps and bounds and this facility allows us to move forward an a state-of-the-art facility and grow all of our programs in a wonderful way".
Classes start mid-August.