Academics

Nursing program’s transition into school of nursing allows new opportunities at CSU-Pueblo

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by Ashley Schaerfl

As of Jan. 20, 2017 Colorado State University-Pueblo has announced that the nursing program here at CSU-Pueblo is no longer just a program, but now a School of Nursing.

This change comes after years of waiting, since 2003 to be exact when the associate dean position established in the nursing department and now that this has been accomplished, students and faculty will have so much more to look forward to.

According to the Nursing Graduate Program Director Patricia Keller, this change is going to help students make the decision to come here over other schools in the state and it will give the current students a prominent degree to help move forward with their careers. “We have elevated ourselves,” Keller said. “It’s about prestige. It’s kind of an honor in away.”

The change brings in the first doctor of nursing practice at CSU-Pueblo starting in Fall 2018. This addition will allow nursing students to take that extra step after their masters to get a Ph.D. in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, in adult-gerontology acute care/ family nurse practitioner or in psychiatric- mental health nurse practitioner.

Instead of going the four to six years for their RN and BSN students can continue at CSU-Pueblo for 8 years and walk away with their Ph.D.  “Our doctoral program does allow seamless transition of individuals that want to go from their BSN to Ph.D. as a nurse practitioner,” Joe Franta, the interim associate dean of nursing said.

Another change that the nursing faculty have been fighting for is a change in the credit hours that the Nurses Education Degree required. Currently the degree requires 44 credit hours which is more than surrounding schools ask for. Educators are hoping that this will change within the next few weeks to 30 credit hours, making this degree program more competitive.

“We are waiting for the Board of Governors in February to meet,” Graduate Nursing Program Coordinator, Susan Belport said. According to Keller this change will hopefully come through for students in the Fall of 2017 and will help draw students to getting their masters as an Nurse Educator.

Currently the school of nursing is still part of the College of Education, Engineering and Professional Studies, because students are studying the profession of nursing. One day this could change and the program will have their own building and finances.

This will provide more space for simulation which just grew thanks to the Park View Grant. “Over the next two to five years the goal is to become a School of Nursing with its own dean,” Franta said. This is the next step in the process of becoming the school of nursing and will potential draw in a donor to provided a new building to house the school.

“We’re waiting for you guys,” said Patricia Keller. With need for nurses growing throughout the country and the program itself growing, the school of nursing is ready for students to come and join their team.