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Iowa State University seeks first nursing degree program

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AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University is seeking approval to offer its first nursing degree program in order to help Des Moines-area nurses obtain bachelor’s degrees.

University officials are seeking approval from the Iowa Board of Regents and the Iowa Board of Nursing to create the new program through which registered nurses who already have their associate’s degree can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/2rbcZnl ) reported.

The university and Des Moines Area Community College have collaborated on the proposed program. It’s expected to be running by fall 2018, attract about 50 students for its first year and bring in about 200 students after it’s established.

“They were looking for a site-based program that would be available in central Iowa, so people would not have to travel to get the education or have to take a fully online program — which doesn’t meet everyone’s desires for learning,” said Virginia Wagerin, a clinical assistant professor and director of nursing education at the university.

Wagerin said the proposed program would have a different mission from the pre-licensure programs offered at area community colleges.

“We are looking to provide a very seamless transition between the community colleges and Iowa State,” she said. “We’re not looking to replicate what they are doing.”

Wagerin said about half of the courses needed for the new degree already are being offered in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as well as the College of Human Sciences. The two schools are partnering on the new degree, which will be housed in the university’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

The regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee is scheduled to discuss the proposal during a June 7 meeting.