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Heartland partners with Illinois State to offer dual enrollment in Nursing

January 18, 2018

Nursing students enrolled in an associate’s program at Heartland Community College will have a new opportunity to fast track their path to a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University.

Heartland and Illinois State University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a new partnership to benefit nursing students via dual enrollment. This agreement will allow Heartland students in the Associate in Applied Science – Nursing program (ADN) to begin work on their Bachelor of Science – Nursing (BSN) degree at Illinois State. The dual enrollment program will allow students to take courses in both programs at the same time.

“Previously, Heartland nursing students have been able to lock in admission in the BSN program at Illinois State upon completion of the ADN program,” said Jennifer Abraham, Director of Nursing Education at Heartland Community College. “This new agreement extends our partnership with Illinois State even further. Dual enrollment will allow students committed to the rigors of full-time study to already be working on their bachelor’s degree before graduating from Heartland.”

The agreement is one that benefits both programs and brings motivated students to Illinois State.

“This program helps us move toward meeting the Institute of Medicine’s goal of an 80% BSN-prepared nursing workforce by 2020,” said Judy Neubrander, Dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State. “Beyond that, dual-enrollment positions Heartland nursing graduates in a better place if they are considering continuing on to a master’s degree or other areas of advanced practice nursing.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to increase by 26 percent over the course of this decade.

“With the healthcare job market continuing to expand rapidly, we continue to aggressively pursue ways to help students on their path to a nursing career,” said Heartland Community College President Rob Widmer. “Heartland nursing students are able to consider their career goals along with their personal interests, and then choose the educational option that best meets their needs. Now even more options are available to our students. This agreement illustrates how Heartland and Illinois State are working together to provide students more cost effective, high quality educational opportunities.”

Heartland Community College Nursing students will be eligible to begin the dual enrollment program in the Fall 2018 semester.

Written by: Steve Fast