Nursing program progressing quickly

JJ Bullock, Editor-in-Chief

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The Illinois Board of Nursing approved Eastern’s feasibility study into its new nursing program and progress in developing the new program is moving along quickly, according to Eastern Provost Jay Gatrell who updated the Faculty Senate on the program Tuesday. 

Gatrell said there is still a lot of work to be done and there would be a “complex series of moves over the summer months” regarding the nursing program. 

The Illinois Board of Higher Education still must approve the new academic unit which would solidify nursing as a department at Eastern, being just one of the still many steps left in the process of beginning the program. But things are moving quickly, something Senate member and associate professor of nursing Sue Gosse, credited to Gatrell’s hard work during the process. 

There is still a lot left to be done however, including the procurement of facilities and equipment and the approval of curriculum. 

“The Board of Nursing in Illinois has to approve the curriculum, all the courses, where they go, and how they’re laid out,” Gosse said. “That will be in a couple of months and then we look at the accrediting body, so our national accreditation. They have to also approve the curriculum and then we prepare for a visit from the Board and the Board of Nursing and the accrediting body.”

Gosse herself has been working on developing the curriculum for the nursing program, setting course goals, objective and assignments. Gosse said that Holly Farley, has been handling more of the hands-on work like finding equipment, staffing and figuring out what the proposed department needs to be stocked up on.

“It’s great to see us hit all these milestones so far,” Gosse said. “It’s been a lot of work and it is a very short time frame for program development. But we have hit all the milestones so far and hopefully that will keep on, and I think it is because of the Provost, his commitment to the program and to getting the resources that we as faculty need to do the work.”

Gosse said it is probably going to be a solid year before they start looking at admissions and the goal is to have the program ready to go in Fall 2021.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]