Responding to the growth of its nursing program and an increasing demand for quality professionals in all healthcare fields, Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbannais, Ill., established a new school of nursing and health sciences effective July 1.
Olivet has had a nursing program since 1967, but this is the first time nursing has been a designated school of the university, said Linda Davison, MSN, EdD, RN, who has been appointed dean of the school. Nursing previously had been a department under the school of professional studies for many years, Davison said, and before that was a division.
It definitely adds a level of prestige to be a school of nursing and health sciences, said Davison, who has been part of Olivets nursing faculty since 1984 and previously served as chairwoman of the department of nursing. To have that kind of designation is very exciting.
Nursing majors at Olivet include 1,460 undergraduate and graduate students, according to the schools website.
Olivets nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. The traditional undergraduate nursing major results in a BSN degree and falls under the school of nursing and health sciences. The school of graduate and continuing studies delivers many of the advanced degree nursing programs.
With the creation of the new school of nursing and health sciences, Davison said Olivet may add more nursing program offerings, including possibly eventually a DNP program and healthcare programs in areas such as administration, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
A building expansion of about 10,000 square feet is planned for the Wisner Hall of Nursing, which is part of Olivets six-year plan for completing the footprint of the main campus.