Nursing Program to Expand Degree, Enrollment Opportunities
In recent years, high school students have been let down by the fact that King’s did not have a nursing program in place. Other area schools offered nursing as a major, and so students were wooed by those schools and had an advantage over King’s in that department. However, under the leadership of program chairperson Cynthia Mailloux, a full nursing program has been established at King’s College.
The program is based around having professional-level nursing graduates receive their bachelor’s degree by 2020. Starting as a collaboration between King’s and Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) in which students split their time at each school on a 1-2-1 year basis, the program has been developed to the point where the recruitment process can begin to recruit high school students without having to go through LCCC first.
Mailloux began developing the program earlier, but needed to get certain approvals before anything would be officially put into motion.
“I started the development of the baccalaureate degree in nursing in March. I worked with [King’s] administration and LCCC administration to develop the proposal, which had to go through the college approval process as well as to Middle States, our regional accreditor” Mailloux explained.
From there, Mailloux was given the go-ahead to begin the process of finding interested students with the help of the Admissions Office.
“Once approved in October, we started to advertise for enrollment into the nursing program. Admission counselors visited many high schools recruiting for the 1-2-1 dual degrees in nursing,” Mailloux said.
Mailloux also revealed that this is an ongoing process, saying, “At the present time we are still recruiting students for fall 2018.”
The first group of students to take on the major as strictly King’s College students will be arriving on campus in the near future. “The first class will be admitted in the fall and they do not go to LCCC first. They will be out of high school” Mailloux said, while also noting that “[the nursing program] can only admit 25 students. They will be new admits with 5 seats left for change of majors or transfer students.” This opens the door for students, who may have wanted to go to King’s for nursing to give the school another chance.
Still, the struggle of competing with the already well-established nursing programs of Misericordia University and Wilkes University is bound to be a deterrent in some way. Mailloux referred back to the benefits of the 1-2-1 opportunity to explain the aspects of the King’s program that are superior to those of schools of similar geography and campus size.
“This program is an innovative program that offers students the use of resources from both colleges. Students will be full time King’s students during the first and fourth years,” Mailloux said. She fleshed out the program’s benefits, saying, “[Students] graduate with an associate degree in nursing after year three, take the state board exam, and then can work as an RN during their fourth year while taking all upper division nursing courses.”
In addition to the unique opportunity to work with healthcare professionals in the area and with experts at two different schools, the nursing program has laid out a few goals for itself and its students. Mailloux noted that a balanced understanding of the health care industry will be at the forefront of the program’s curriculum.
“Students will be learning about heath care needs regionally, nationally and globally,” she said.
While the global community will always be in mind, there is a primary focus on serving the Wyoming Valley. Northeast Pennsylvania’s long tradition of strong medical facilities, combined withthe area’s aging population, will likely open opportunities for students to reach out in public service efforts.
Mailloux expects that the program’s future will be bright. While nursing students will possibly need to spend time at LCCC, there should be no mistaking what campus community the students will belong to, according to Mailloux. As she said of the experience, “It is a great opportunity to have nursing on campus and be a part of this partnership with LCCC. Students are always King’s students and will live on campus like all other students on campus.”
For many students, being included in the nursing program will come down to an element that concerns a majority of college students: career opportunities. On the subject, Mailloux had great confidence in the program’s projected success in this area.
“It is a great program that guarantees a job upon graduation,” Mailloux said simply, showing that the new nursing program at King’s will be nothing short of a welcome addition to the campus community.