University partners with medical center for new nursing degree

Macro Photo of Stethoscope and Pens
Courtesy of James Baker
The university and Beebe Healthcare have joined forces to assist students interested in pursuing a nursing degree.

Senior Reporter

The university’s new partnership with Beebe Medical Center, or Beebe Healthcare, in Sussex County now allows in-state students to complete multiple degrees in just four years. The university has paired with the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare to create a way for Delaware citizens to complete their education while staying and working in the state.

Alison Watson, admissions chair at the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, said that this program is a great pathway for students interested in pursuing an Registered Nurse (RN) degree.

“The benefit of this is that they are able to be awarded Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) money so, a free college education while getting a University of Delaware associate in arts degree,” she said.

The SEED scholarship is a financial based grant awarded to students from Delaware.

As a result of this partnership, students will now be able to utilize the multiple campuses available in Delaware, including the Beebe campus.

“Students, typically, will enroll in the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts Program, they’ll go there for two years, do a lot of their general education courses,” Watson said.

For this new program, students will be able to do one year of the Associate in Arts Program while working on their nursing degree.

“These students are either taking their general education classes at Georgetown or at Dover and then a few of their science courses are actually taught by University of Delaware professors or held at our Beebe campus,” she said.

David Satran, director of the Associate in Arts Program, said that they have around 820 students throughout the state enrolled in the program.

“We have our inaugural cohort this fall of 27 Delawareans who are UD students,” he said, “they’ll earn an RN at the same time that they pursue an Associate’s degree.”

Satran said that after these students get their associate’s degrees, they become qualified to work as nurses.

“The hope is that students will take jobs in Sussex County where they have been studying and then they will study remotely through the University of Delaware to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree,” he said.

Although the Beebe school partnership is new, the school has been around since 1921. Formerly the Beebe School of Nursing, its new name, the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, came about just a few years ago.

“In 2015 we opened our brand new school with state of the art simulation labs [and] interactive classrooms and we’re right on the campus of the hospital,” said Watson.

Watson said that the main reason for this partnership is to allow students who graduate to have a seamless progression into bachelor studies.

This partnership hopes to provide benefit to both the university and the Delaware community as a whole. The Beebe school students have the highest pass rate when testing for the RN board exams, a necessary step in receiving a nursing license.

“It provides a pathway for students to complete a four year BSN while living in Sussex county,” said Satran.

The program has already received many applicants, and with its immediate success, plans to expand are likely to come.

“This does well to demonstrate some of UD’s commitment to students in Sussex County and that we’re really delighted by the size of the cohort, it shows the demand from students for opportunities to study nursing and to become nurses who are going to be employed in the state of Delaware,” Satran said.

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