Undergrad nursing program to be offered in future

Amanda Gass came to Eastern University as a first-year, not knowing she would have to leave a year later. Gass, among other students, decided to transfer to a college that offers nursing programs for undergraduate students.

“I loved Eastern, it was a great school,” Gass said in a phone interview, now a nursing student at Drexel University. “I’m passionate about nursing, and it took a lot to leave Eastern.”

Shanikqua Erskine transferred to City College in New York City during her sophomore year after deciding to pursue a degree in nursing.

“Once I realized I wanted to go into nursing, I knew I had to transfer,” Erskine said in a phone interview. “It would have been okay to get a liberal arts degree and do the BSN 2 program, but that’s a lot of money.”

Presently, Eastern’s nursing department includes the RN-BSN, Korean nursing and BSN 2 programs but no undergraduate level program.

There is a possibility for an undergraduate nursing program in the next few years.

Dr. Christina Jackson, professor of nursing, explained that it is possible. “We really have everything in place. It would be simply depending on resources,” she said over the phone. Jackson said some course curriculum is already written and the courses for BSN 2 would be used for the undergraduate program.

Jackson said the department would easily bring in more students if an undergraduate program was established. “Right now we’re approved for more students,” Jackson said. “We could handle it.”

The nursing department is in transition, as they are in the process of hiring a new chairperson. Also, money is needed for hiring professors and funding the program. State approval would need to be obtained as well.

“Absolutely, there are economic issues,” Jackson said. “We would have to pay more clinical professors.”

Once a new chair is hired and resources are secured, it seems Eastern may offer a new program of study for undergraduates.

“It would be such a great spot right outside of Philly with some of the best hospitals,” Gass said. “[Nursing students] would be getting really great experience for clinicals.”

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