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Anticipated increase in demand for nursing services and impending retirements of baby boomers indicates that the need for registered nurses will continue to grow. The U.S. Labor Department predicted that there would be 712,000 new jobs for registered nurses between 2010 and 2020. Will there be enough nurses to fill all of those jobs and other openings that arise?

Olivet is taking a proactive approach to address that challenge. The University’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies (SGCS) recently announced partnerships with Illinois’ Kankakee Community College (KCC) and Highland Community College (HCC) which will allow students to complete the bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

“We are very pleased to partner with KCC, HCC and community colleges throughout the state who are looking to provide continuing education for their nursing students,” says Jonathan Dela Cruz, the SGCS director of community college partnerships.

Classes at KCC begin in summer or fall of 2014. Prior to that time, KCC students are invited to take classes on Olivet’s campus. Classes at HCC begin on November 6, 2013.

“We know that these partnerships will have tremendous impact on the Kankakee and Freeport communities,” says Dr. Ryan Spittal, vice president for strategic expansion at Olivet.

According to the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing,” nurses with bachelor’s degrees are becoming highly desired by hospitals and health care agencies. Classes for Olivet’s Accelerated BSN degree program, which will allow those who have an associate degree to continue their education, will be offered on both the KCC and HCC campuses. The goal is for students to complete the program in about 12 months of full-time study or to extend their studies part-time with completion in two and one-half years.

Dr. Cynthia A. Russell, associate dean of nursing and health sciences at ONU, shares: “The healthcare environment is fast-paced and ever-changing. Today’s nurses need programs like Olivet’s RN to BSN program that facilitate completion of the baccalaureate degree, enabling graduates to pursue career advancement opportunities and graduate studies.”