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Partnership will offer nursing program at Pfeiffer University

Pfeiffer University and Stanly Community College are collaborating in an attempt to educate more nurses to help address a nationwide shortage.
As baby boomers near retirement and the need for health care grows, the demand for qualified nurses is steadily increasing. The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify.
There are 118,000 vacancies of registered nurses in hospitals across the country. By the year 2020, the shortage is expected to reach nearly 800,000.
Pfeiffer recently received consent for the collaboration from the N.C. Board of Nursing and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
“Highly skilled nurses are invaluable to our health-care system and play a pivotal role in delivering the best patient care,” said Dr. Chuck Ambrose, Pfeiffer president. “The alliance of these two great institutions will produce a supply of well-trained nurses committed to providing access to the highest quality of care.
“The nursing shortage is a challenge that requires a communitywide resolution.”
The new Department of Nursing in the School of Natural and Health Sciences at Pfeiffer will offer an undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Dr. Dianne Yow Daniels, assistant professor, was named chairwoman of the new department.
She and Dr. Mark McCallum, dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences, designed the nursing curriculum. Daniels will be responsible for implementation and direction of the new distinctive program.
“We are so excited to offer a unique curriculum that has been designed to focus on the caring theoretical perspective and Christian principles within nursing education and practice,” Daniels said. “The concept of caring will direct teaching methodologies, student learning activities, teacher-student interactions and the climate of the program.”
Pfeiffer’s new BSN program is expected to produce approximately 20 additional qualified nurses annually and is accepting students for the fall 2009 academic year. The pre-licensure BSN program will be open to qualified high school graduates and college students who wish to pursue a nursing major.
The four-year program will consist of teaching and clinical experiences designed to prepare the graduates to provide a high level of care to a variety of patients across the lifespan and diverse populations.
The establishment of the new nursing program has prompted resource sharing and plans for future educational partnerships with Stanly Community College to assist displaced workers. Pfeiffer’s nursing students will have immediate access to the community college’s state-of-the-art nursing laboratory and simulation center.
Ultimately, after construction of Pfeiffer’s new nursing skills lab, there will be two well-equipped labs available to nursing students in both programs. With the increasing emphasis on simulation technology in nursing education and growing concerns about available clinical sites, the practicality of resource sharing is clear.
This new program comes at a critical time. Both schools recognize a need for skilled nursing professionals to meet the growing demand within the health-care industry and are interested in developing educational nursing programs to meet the region’s needs.
As North Carolina’s population ages and the percentage of people age 65 and older rely more heavily on the health-care system, the state will need a predicted 18,000 nurses by 2020, according to a forecast from the N.C. Nursing Workforce Report Task Force.
In addition, nearly half of all nurses in the state are over age 45, which indicates a flurry in the coming years of retirements among practitioners and nursing faculty.
According to a 2006-07 report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, United States nursing schools turned away 42,866 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2006 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints.
“Pfeiffer’s history in the natural sciences has been a great foundation to equip students for graduate degrees and professions related to the health sciences,” Ambrose said. “With a 35-year track record of excellence in nursing education along with its other health-related options, Stanly Community College is a major supplier of nurses to local hospitals, and is in a unique position to partner with Pfeiffer to address this important issue.”
To enroll or for more information about Pfeiffer’s new nursing program, contact nursing@pfeiffer.edu, dianne.daniels@pfeiffer.edu or 704-463-3427.

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