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      JWCC to offer revamped nursing degree

      -Update, Friday, March 4, 2011-

      Future nurses have another option to complete their degree.

      Friday Illinois State Board of Nursing gave the green light to John Wood Community College to offer a re-vamped nursing program. It combines the resources of the community college with the Blessing Rieman College of nursing staff.

      Caitlen Wiese is currently finishing up her first year of nursing school at John Wood Community College. But now instead of leaving the school with her Licenced practical Nurse certification, she can continue her education without changing schools.

      Wiese said, "This is very good news for me I can pursue my career and go onto to get my bachelors, my BSN and eventually my masters."

      This wasn't always the case. School officials were forced to suspend the associate's degree nursing program last year after it became unsustainable. It cost more money to provide than the school could pay for because of delayed state payments and capped tuition rates. The John Wood Community College Board also refused to raise tax rates to pay for it. But after a lot of work and coordination John Wood is contracting the second year of nursing classes with Blessing Rieman College of Nursing.

      John Wood President Dr. Thomas Klincar said, "We had to find a sustainable model that was relevant to the needs of the healthcare industry and I think we've done that."

      That allows students in John Wood's LPN program to continue the college's nursing program at Blessing. Students would still graduate with a John Wood degree.

      Dr. Klincar says this allows students to complete their associates degree in nursing at a specialized school at a community college price. A win-win for both institutions and the community.

      Brenda Beshears, Academic Dean at Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing said, "Economically its the right thing to do to share our resources and to realize that we've not in competition with each other, we're here to work together to provide nurses for our region."

      Nurses like Caitlyn.

      Enrollment for the new associate's degree is underway.

      John Wood students also can transfer seamlessly to a four year school for their bachelor's degree in nursing.

      --ORIGINAL STORY--

      The Illinois State Board of Nursing has given the green light to John Wood Community College to offer a re-vamped associate degree in nursing.

      The program would allow students interested in obtaining their associates degree to take the first year of training at John Wood to obtain their LPN certification. Then John Wood students would receive further classes and instruction at Blessing Rieman College of Nursing.

      Last year John Wood Community College officials were forced to suspend the associate's degree nursing program after it became unsustainable. It cost more money to provide than the school could pay for because of delayed state payments and capped tuition rates. The John Wood Community College Board also refused to raise tax rates to pay for it. But after lots of work and coordination John Wood is contracting the second year of nursing classes with Blessing Rieman College of Nursing.

      That allows students in John Wood's LPN program to continue the college's nursing program at Blessing. Students would still graduate with a John Wood degree.

      John Wood President Dr. Thomas Klincar says this allows students to complete their associates degree in nursing at a specialized school at a community college price.

      We TMll have more on this story on KHQA TMs new tonight and updates online throughout the day!
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