Lipscomb University, Columbia State Community College announce nursing education partnership

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Students at Columbia State Community College have a new pathway to earning a nursing degree thanks to a new partnership with Lipscomb University.

CSCC_1Janet F. Smith, Columbia State Community College president, and L. Randolph Lowry, Lipscomb University president, along with other college representatives announced the new 2+2 Nursing Articulation & Transfer Agreement in a ceremony held at Columbia State’s Franklin campus on Tuesday, July 3.

The 2+2 Nursing Articulation & Transfer Agreement allows students who complete an Associate of Science degree at Columbia State to seamlessly transfer to Lipscomb to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through its School of Nursing housed in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. The agreement defines an outlined program of study that encourages academic and administrative coordination between both institutions.

“Knowing that these students made a first choice to attend a community college experience at Columbia State, we’d like to be the place they finish that. We’d love to take the very, very good work you have begun and continue that. Here is a particular pathway to do that,” Lowry told the crowd gathered to witness the ceremony. “We appreciate the vision of Dr. Smith, we appreciate the opportunity to be collaborative and we appreciate the opportunity to envision what will happen in the lives of these students.”

CSCC_2Students who successfully complete the specified courses offered by Columbia State will receive scholarships for both their required summer courses at Lipscomb University, and their traditional fall and spring full-time enrollment. The Columbia State Summer Scholarship awards up to a one-time $3,000 scholarship to qualifying students; the Lipscomb Pathways Scholarship awards up to $13,000 per year to qualifying students; the Tennessee Community College Award awards up to $3,000 per year to qualifying students and the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship awards up to $2,500 annually to qualifying students.  

Smith said she appreciates the collaboration with Lipscomb and for the way the partnership will benefit students and the community.

“It’s a most exciting day. It always is when we’re talking about building opportunities for students,” said Smith. “This is another example of how we can work together as two colleges and how we can build relationships for students so that students can attain their goals and dreams. This is a new way our students who want to go into nursing can achieve that goal. The program we are building is one that will meet the needs of our community, but most importantly it meets the needs of the student who is trying to achieve a goal and set their life’s work in front of them.”

“I thank Dr. Lowry for his support of community colleges and of Columbia State,” she continued. “We’ve always had a wonderful relationship with Lipscomb. Thank you for those who sat at the table and made today possible.”

CSCC_3Roger Davis, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, said the agreement marked a highlight of his career.

“This is a glorious day for both institutions. This is a day that makes me glad that I chose a career in higher education,” said Davis “We have had a number of Columbia State graduates as students and they do extremely well on the academic and leadership aspects of our programs. The health care profession is in dire need of practitioners who are leaders in their field.”

“This articulation agreement is the right thing at the right moment,” he continued. “Our School of Nursing is on its way to a great future with our accreditation, our new programs, our great faculty, the way we care for our students is exactly the same way you care for your students at Columbia State. The future is truly bright. The outcome will be practitioners who are well prepared at Columbia State and Lipscomb.”

At Columbia State, the traditional track of Associate of Science degree core courses may be completed in as few as four semesters. Through Lipscomb’s new RN-to-BSN program with an associate degree can earn a BSN within 18 months.

Earlier this year, Lipscomb announced its new RN-to-BSN program, which holds initial approval status from the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is pending accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The program will soon be accepting applications for its first cohort of students to begin in August 2018.

The program will soon be accepting applications for its first cohort of students to begin in August 2018. The cost is $525 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable online programs offered by a private institution in the region.

CSCC_4In addition to the intentional integration of a Biblical view throughout the curriculum, Lipscomb’s program is also unique in that it offers students the opportunity to earn up to 27 credit hours for demonstration of knowledge and skills already mastered. The School of Nursing has partnered with Lipscomb’s College of Professional Studies and intentionally integrated key leadership competencies into the curriculum that are essential for success in the workplace.  Students enrolling in the RN-to-BSN program may have already mastered some of the skills either through prior learning and/or experience.  Therefore, during the orientation to Lipscomb’s RN-to-BSN Program, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate such competencies through a professional assessment simulation mirroring a day in the workplace. Lipscomb’s program is one of the first in the nation to integrate this type of leadership component into an RN-to-BSN curriculum.

BSN curriculum advances the ASN nurse to think and practice at the baccalaureate level, equips them to address issues in community and population health, teaches them to responsibly consume and conduct research and integrate evidence-based practice into their routines, as well as positions them to become leaders in the profession of nursing.

Many health care providers and hospitals are requiring nurses to have a four-year college degree.  In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the United States nurses have a BSN by 2020. According to the AACN, many hospitals and other medical facilities are following the IOM guidelines and strongly encouraging ASN-prepared RNs to earn their BSN within five years of graduation. Also, according to more hospitals are seeking the American Nurses Association’s “magnet” designation, which requires that 100 percent of nurse managers and 48 percent of nurses have a BSN or higher.

About Lipscomb’s School of Nursing

Lipscomb University’s School of Nursing provides a state-of-the-art nursing education while providing each student with individual support and guidance that enables them to become the best nurse possible.

The school offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for traditional undergraduate students and transfers. Students have the opportunity to “practice before they practice” in an on-campus facility that includes a state-of-the-art, high fidelity patient simulation lab.

In the Health Sciences Simulation Laboratory, students experience health conditions covering the entire lifespan from premature babies to the elderly. Twenty-three computerized patient simulators provide realistic health scenarios and respond to a student’s interventions. Student nurses are also trained in bedside health care informatics and in the use of medical equipment. The lab is equipped to be able to triage real patients in the event of a crisis.

Another hallmark of Lipscomb’s nursing program is teaching Christ-centered nursing care that includes opportunities for students to participate in medical mission trips and international educational experiences.

Student nurses learn from faculty who are highly trained in all clinical and specialty areas, who also serve as academic advisors and mentors, looking out for the individual needs and goals of each student. With Lipscomb’s location in Nashville, the health care capital of the nation, students complete nurse preceptorships and residency programs at some of the country’s top medical institutions.

Lipscomb’s School of Nursing is recognized by the industry’s most demanding organizations and regulators as top quality. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and has received multiple superior ratings from the Tennessee Board of Nursing at its regular site visits. The program’s 2017 graduates have a 95.3 percent pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam and 100 percent job placement.

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