On Wednesday, Sept. 17, representatives from the NSC School of Nursing went before the Nevada State Board of Nursing to gain approval for the expansion of their program. The School of Nursing leadership team presented their plan, which includes adding more students and updating the curriculum. Dr. Neal Rosenburg, Dean of the School of Nursing, led the effort, which stemmed from the school’s proposal for growth. After a unanimous vote by the board, NSC’s request was approved.
Currently in the School of Nursing, there is a Regular Track program, a Part-time Track program, and an Accelerated Track program. The school accepts 16 students per track throughout the year. In the revised curriculum, the Accelerated Track program will be phased out, and the School of Nursing will begin accepting more students for the Part-Time and Regular Track programs.
We took the best elements from the Accelerated Track and the Regular Track, and put them in the revised curriculum, Dr. Rosenburg said. The School of Nursing will introduce the revised curriculum next semester, effective Spring 2015 for all incoming students. Incoming students from the Fall 2014 semester (and before) will be taught the current curriculum.
According to Dr. Rosenburg, the school’s growth will be incremental. In the Spring 2015 semester, enrollment will increase to 32 Part-Time Track students and 32 Regular Track students, which is double the current amount. By Fall 2015, there will be 48 students in each category, for a total of 96. That’s three times the current number of Part-Time and Regular Track students. Additionally, starting in the Summer of 2015, the School of Nursing will begin admitting Part-Time students (48) for summer classes. The Fall 2015 semester will set a record for the School of Nursing, as that is the most students ever enrolled at one time in the school’s history.
We’re doing this to answer student’s needs, Dr. Rosenburg explained. We have a waitlist of qualified applicants. With these changes, we’re accommodating more qualified students than ever. Dr. Rosenburg believes the timing is perfect, since the opening of the new buildings during the summer of 2015 will provide the space for more students.
By providing more opportunities for students, we’re providing a valuable service to the community, Dr. Rosenburg stated. Most of our students stay in Southern Nevada and work, so we are helping offset the nursing shortage.
To prepare for the enrollment increase, the School of Nursing is hiring a Director of Academic Success and Retention. This position will provide additional support services to students, addressing those students who need the extra attention and support. As the student-to-teacher ratio will no longer be 16:1, the School of Nursing aims to ensure that no one gets overlooked or falls behind.
Other efforts to address the school’s growth include recruiting full-time clinical instructors for the Fall 2015 semester.
Dr. Rosenburg is excited about the upcoming changes and looks forward to welcoming new students to the school’s growing population. This is a great thing, not just for us, but for NSC and the entire community, he expressed. By doing this, we’re producing some of the most talented and exceptionally-prepared nurses in Southern Nevada.