International College & Nova Southeastern University to Launch Pre-Nursing Dual Enrollment Program
International College and Nova Southeastern University are once again extending their partnership to introduce a Pre-Nursing Dual Enrollment program in the southwestern region of Florida.
International College will provide the basic and general education science prerequisite courses (48 credit hours) locally. Students would then matriculate seamlessly into Nova Southeastern University’s nursing program in Fort Lauderdale – providing they meet all academic requirements.
The announcement comes exactly one year after Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and International College entered into their first dual enrollment agreement, a baccalaureate degree to graduate degree program in Health Studies with an emphasis on physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant.
NSU Nursing Department Chair Diane Whitehead, Ed.D., RN, said the newest offering shows both schools’ commitment to bringing additional allied health programs to a broader base of students and to assisting with local healthcare market demands.
“There are already outstanding nursing programs in the area, but there is such a great need for nurses in the southwestern region of Florida that we see International College as another avenue in which to help meet the nursing shortage need,” Whitehead said.
The registered nurse vacancy rate in the western portion of the state, including Fort Myers and Naples, is 16 percent; the turnover rate is about 21 percent, according to a Florida Hospital Association nursing shortage survey released in December. The state vacancy rates outpace national figures, which hover at 13 percent with a turnover rate of 15 percent. Additionally, Florida RN supply has not kept up with the increasing aging population, surveys show.
NSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an entry-level program designed for students seeking initial licensure as registered nurses. The curriculum prepares students for a wide range of professional nursing positions including, primary, secondary, and tertiary care settings.
“It was prudent for International College to partner with Nova Southeastern University - which already has a strong nursing program - because we do not offer such a degree now but are cognizant of the fact that there is a nursing shortage,” said Dr. Jeanette Brock, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. “We are pleased to have expanded our agreement with NSU to bring programs that will enhance career offerings and help ease the nursing shortage locally and state-wide.”
Unlike many other schools, Nova’s Nursing program admits new students twice a year: January and June. Fifteen students in International College’s Pre-Nursing program will be accepted into Nova’s Nursing program for each of those admission dates. The dual enrollment program is designed so that students can obtain a bachelor of science in nursing within 3.5 years, Whitehead added.
Locally, several of the hospitals have met with Carlene Harrison, Allied Health Program Chair to address their healthcare professional needs. Nursing, she explained, is still one of the strongest needs.
“International College will be providing students with the fundamental prerequisites necessary to enter NSU’s nursing program. That will be our only role,” Harrison said. “NSU is fast-tracking admission into their nursing program as a result of this dual enrollment partnership. This area already has two fine programs. This is just another opportunity for local residents to get into a nursing program.”
NSU is well known for innovation and quality both in traditional and distance education, offering degree programs in 22 states, in addition to Florida and 10 foreign countries. The university serves large numbers of adult students, a growing population of traditional undergraduates, and is the 10th largest, not-for-profit university in the U.S.
To enroll or for more information, call the International College admissions department in Naples at 513-1122 or in Fort Myers at 466-0019. Also, visit the website at www.internationalcollege.com.