Paige Graham –
Illinois College prides itself on the ability to offer “True opportunities.”
The new affiliation with St. Louis University and their Generalist Entry Master’s of Science in Nursing program does just that. While this is a similar program to the one IC has with Rush University, it offers a locational difference.
Dr. Adam Porter, Dean of the Faculty, stated, “For students from Southern Illinois or Missouri, attending St. Louis University may be more attractive than attending Rush, simply because of its geographic proximity to their friends or family. Others may prefer to live in St. Louis than in Chicago for other reasons.” The partnership with SLU therefore allows students from different regions to stay close to home if they wish.
While being a biology major is not necessary for this program, many of the courses required to apply for the program are the same that are needed for a degree in biology. Dr. Elaine Chapman, Professor of Biology, revealed, “All of the students from IC who have been admitted to these have had a biology major and a chemistry minor.”
The Master’s program itself is very rigorous, according to Dr. Chapman. It requires full-time study and clinical experience for two years. Students that complete the program are then eligible to sit for RN licensure and Clinical Nurse Leadership certification. It should also be mentioned that this program differs from the traditional MSN programs in that students do not have to have a BSN, RN before entering the program.
One of the influential faculty in getting this program running was Dr. Linda Cockerill who is no longer with IC. Her departure from the college, as stated by Dean Porter, “shook up the department and the program.” He is confident, though, that a new full-time faculty member will fill her position for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Until then, we can look to the rest of the Biology Department to take the lead on this program.
Due to the recency of this affiliation it is unknown whether or not this program will prove to attract more students. Many students are not sure what they would like to do with the rest of their lives when they enter college, but this program will definitely add another option to their list. Both Dean Porter and Dr. Chapman agree that this program offers yet another route for Illinois College graduates interested in nursing careers.
Dr. Chapman acknowledges that, “The IC grads who have chosen these programs have paved the way for future generations of nursing students at SLU and Rush.”
Even if nursing is not the route that all students would like to go, Dean Porter believes that, “Illinois College works hard to make sure that it offers an excellent education to its students and that are well prepared to attend graduate school in a wide variety of fields.”
The excellent education and opportunities, like the Generalist Entry Master’s of Science in Nursing program at St. Louis University, provided for students by Illinois College is one of the many reasons students are attracted to our campus.
Paige Graham, from Pleasant Plains, Illinois, is a senior majoring in psychology. Paige is the executive secretary for the Student Senate as well as the Class of 2016 Chair, vice president of Colleges Against Cancer, a member of SAB, and a recently new writer for The Rambler.