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Archive for Thursday, August 30, 1990

PARTNERSHIP TO OPEN DOORS AT BAKER

August 30, 1990

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— A new nursing education partnership with Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center in Topeka opens degree doors for Baker University, according to a university official.

Keith Keeling, provost and dean at Baker, said the program affiliation with the hospital, which is expected to be in place by fall 1991, will mean two degree programs in nursing as well as another degree option.

The nursing school would be able to offer the associate degree of nursing and the bachelor of science in nursing. Additionally, a third "track" degree completion program also would be available for registered nurses wanting to further their education, he said.

The hospital's board of directors voted in late July to pursue the partnership with Baker. Under the program, Baker will offer a four-year program at its Baldwin campus and at the Topeka hospital. Students would spend the first two years of the program in Baker classrooms and the final two years in a clinical setting at the hospital.

"It's still very much in the development stage," Keeling said.

FINAL contracts have yet to be signed. The first set of contracts are to be approved in September, with other signings following in October, in December or January and in March, he said.

Previously, Keeling said, the college had offered a pre-nursing program through the College of Arts and Sciences which enabled students to transfer to other schools of nursing, including Kansas University's. The lack of a hospital affiliation previously had meant the college could not offer a nursing degree program, he said.

Keeling said the primary benefit will be helping fulfill the university's mission, which is to provide educational services for the people of the region.

"We see this as another area where education is very much needed," Keeling said, citing the nationwide nursing shortage. "It's an opportunity to expand on the established mission of our institution."

THE FACULTY for the program is already in place at Stormont, Keeling said.

"We're working with that faculty and our faculty to develop these programs," he said. "Between us, we'll provide the new program.

He said he anticipates 100 to 150 students to be in the program soon after its beginning, possibly during the first year.

"We anticipate being able to attract many more," Keeling said.

He said the school also plans to try to provide student aid for students.

Financially, the university will have added revenue from the tuition and fees of the students, but that will be somewhat leveled by costs of starting the new program.

"We will incur considerable expenses," Keeling said. "It's a cooperative program. We'll collect tuition and fees and we'll share costs and revenues."

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