December 19, 2003

School of Nursing and Lipscomb University join forces with new partnership

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Neil A. Bhowmick, Ph.D./Photo by Dana Johnson

School of Nursing and Lipscomb University join forces with new partnership

The Tennessee State Board of Nursing has approved a partnership agreement between the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Lipscomb University to offer Lipscomb students a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with courses provided by Vanderbilt.

Lipscomb will provide the first five semesters of a pre-nursing liberal arts program of study and the remaining three semesters of nursing courses and clinical work will be provided by Vanderbilt. The pre-nursing program will provide the nursing-related pre-requisite course requirements that are foundational to the nursing courses to be taught at VUSN.

Upon successful completion of the combined programs of study, a student will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Lipscomb.

“A student who completes this program of study will have had the experience of an academic career in both a liberal arts environment of a small university campus and a health sciences environment of a major research university,” said Linda Norman, D.S.N., senior associate dean for Academics at VUSN. “This unique combination of study on two differently oriented campuses will provide a student with training in nursing, strongly complemented by extensive study in the humanities and social sciences. Thus, the student will be well educated to function as a bachelor’s degree nurse, and also have the necessary foundation to pursue masters and doctoral studies in nursing,” she added.

VUSN and Lipscomb University will jointly administer the BSN program. In addition to her role at Vanderbilt, Norman will serve as the Director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Lipscomb, and a nursing faculty member with a joint appointment will serve as the Program Coordinator.

The new nursing program will be a department in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at Lipscomb University.

“Approval of the new bachelor of science in nursing program gives us the opportunity to address the growing nurse shortage proactively and to assist the poor and underserved,” said Stephen Flatt, president of Lipscomb University. “This program offers our students the blend of a Christian mission and outstanding academic program at Lipscomb with perhaps the finest upper-level nursing curriculum and clinical experience in America through Vanderbilt,” he said.

Lipscomb currently has 45 students enrolled in pre-nursing courses. More than 300 potential nursing students inquired about a nursing program at Lipscomb last year and most did not apply because a bachelor’s degree in nursing was not available at Lipscomb prior to signing this agreement with Vanderbilt.

“The collaboration between VUSN and Lipscomb University is a unique model for the country,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. “The ability of a liberal arts university to offer a baccalaureate nursing degree by utilizing the baccalaureate equivalent courses of Vanderbilt’s accredited, advanced nursing program is extraordinary.

“VUSN has a similar agreement with Fisk University, and feels privileged to offer this national model to two such noteworthy partners,” Conway-Welch said. “It seems fitting that since Nashville is the health care capital of the country that this new model of baccalaureate nurse education should originate in Nashville.”