UNI BS in Nursing on the Docket
At its November meeting, the Board of Regents will consider approval of a new bachelor of science in nursing program at the University of Northern Iowa. If approved, the new nursing program will begin classes during the fall 2024 semester.
The proposed program will fill a vital need for the Iowa and national workforce. The need for nurses in Iowa and around the country is profound and often forces medical centers to operate short-staffed. Existing nurses work on the fringes of burnout and wait times have ballooned under these shortages.
The need for more nurses is obvious.
Based on the latest data from the American Association of College of Nursing, there are more than 8,000 qualified applicants for nursing programs in the Midwest that were denied entry. In addition, there are students that are not applying because they cannot afford the tuition at a private Iowa nursing school. UNI’s program can position itself to draw from these pools of students, which are more than sufficient to fill its cohorts with qualified nursing candidates.
UNI’s proposed BSN program will provide many opportunities for experiential learning, including 405 hours of hands-on patient care in clinical settings and 130 hours in a nursing laboratory. In addition, students will complete a 135 hour internship during their final semester and will have the opportunity to participate in research or continuous improvement projects. The BSN program will be hybrid delivery, though the majority of courses, including all courses with a clinical or laboratory component, will be face-to-face on campus. A limited number of courses may be offered online or in a blended format.
UNI will invest $2 million in infrastructure and one-time costs to provide the program with modern facilities. Funding for the program will be supported by reallocation of existing resources. It is expected to be revenue-positive once a full cohort of 96 students is in place.