GRAND ISLAND-The Creighton University College of Nursing recently moved its central Nebraska campus to the seventh floor of CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island. The new space will welcome its first cohort of nursing students in time for the 2021 spring semester starting in January. To launch the new partnership during times of social distancing, only a small group will gather for a private ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Jan. 7. In the future, a virtual tour of the new facility will be available to the public on the school's website at https://nursing.creighton.edu/program/nursing-accelerated-bsn
The newly configured space, occupying a section of the seventh floor in the hospital's patient tower, features classrooms, simulation space, seating areas, study carrels, a student lounge, receptionist area and office spaces. Previously designated as overflow space for hospitalized patients, the seventh floor was prepared, but never needed during the pandemic.
The new locations at St. Francis will offer Creighton nursing students a top-level clinical experience and the potential of working in the area's only cancer center. CHI Health will also offer scholarships and guaranteed job placements to several students each year.
"St. Francis is a Magnet designated hospital which is awarded by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and is considered the gold standard for nursing excellence. Our nurses are empowered to make decisions about the care they provide, utilizing evidence-based practices that produce superior patient outcomes," said Beth Bartlett, vice president for Patient Care Services, at St. Francis. "This academic partnership is just one more piece in providing a positive learning environment for nursing students."
Proximity of education becomes an important factor when demand for nurses remains strong for central Nebraska. Graduates typically choose to work in the communities where they live and where they studied.
"Relocating our central Nebraska campus to the Grand Island community allows Creighton University to highlight our academic-clinical partnership with CHI Health and contribute to alleviating the nursing shortage in Nebraska," said Julie Manz, PhD, RN, assistant dean at the college. "We look forward to establishing new relationships in the Grand Island community to best serve the health needs of the people through health promotion, disease prevention, health education and care management."
The College of Nursing graduated more than 900 students from the campus at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings before the move beginning in October. The school's accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is one of the nation's most successful and longest running. It began in 1975 on Creighton's Omaha campus and later expanded to Hastings in 1986.
Creighton will maintain a presence in Hastings through its 3 +1 partnership with Hastings College, a private, Presbyterian liberal arts college that was founded in 1882. That partnership will allow Hastings College students to study there for three years before earning their BSN at Creighton.