Carthage nursing program begins this fall

Carthage College in Kenosha will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program this fall.

Between incoming freshmen and potential transfers who plan to major in nursing, college officials expect the fall 2015 cohort to approach the program’s first-year target of 24 students.

Carthage first began investigating the feasibility of a nursing program in 2013, and about a year ago the college hired Frank Hicks as the program director.

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing gave Carthage permission to admit students, and in late July the Higher Learning Commission, Carthage’s accrediting agency, gave the college approval to offer the BSN degree.

So far Hicks said several area health care organizations have signed on as partners, and he expects more to come. Current partners are the United Hospital System, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, the Kenosha County Health Department, and Hospice Alliance.  

Nursing students will focus on core courses for most of their first three semesters, and the first clinical requirements are scheduled for spring 2017.

Hicks said that the Carthage nursing curriculum emphasizes concepts that can be applied to patients of different ages and backgrounds, rather than dividing courses by age group or specialty. From physiological to psychosocial, Hicks said those concepts boost nurses’ critical thinking skills.

“The more knowledge they have to draw on, the better clinical decisions they’re going to make,” he said. “If they don’t have that flexible thinking, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to adapt to the changes in health care.”

The final step in the approval process comes in 2019, when Carthage’s first nursing class is scheduled to graduate. The state Board of Nursing requires at least 80 percent of those graduates to pass the national licensing exam.

Nursing is currently an in-demand career, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.05 million new job vacancies for registered nurses in the decade leading up to 2022.

Carthage College in Kenosha will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program this fall.

Between incoming freshmen and potential transfers who plan to major in nursing, college officials expect the fall 2015 cohort to approach the program’s first-year target of 24 students.

Carthage first began investigating the feasibility of a nursing program in 2013, and about a year ago the college hired Frank Hicks as the program director.

The Wisconsin Board of Nursing gave Carthage permission to admit students, and in late July the Higher Learning Commission, Carthage’s accrediting agency, gave the college approval to offer the BSN degree.

So far Hicks said several area health care organizations have signed on as partners, and he expects more to come. Current partners are the United Hospital System, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, the Kenosha County Health Department, and Hospice Alliance.  

Nursing students will focus on core courses for most of their first three semesters, and the first clinical requirements are scheduled for spring 2017.

Hicks said that the Carthage nursing curriculum emphasizes concepts that can be applied to patients of different ages and backgrounds, rather than dividing courses by age group or specialty. From physiological to psychosocial, Hicks said those concepts boost nurses’ critical thinking skills.

“The more knowledge they have to draw on, the better clinical decisions they’re going to make,” he said. “If they don’t have that flexible thinking, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to adapt to the changes in health care.”

The final step in the approval process comes in 2019, when Carthage’s first nursing class is scheduled to graduate. The state Board of Nursing requires at least 80 percent of those graduates to pass the national licensing exam.

Nursing is currently an in-demand career, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.05 million new job vacancies for registered nurses in the decade leading up to 2022.

Comments are closed.