The Kansas Board of Regents gave its formal approval Thursday morning to Salina Area Technical College’s plan to start an Associate of Registered Nursing program in the fall of 2019.
This approval comes after last week’s approval of the program by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.
The college started a Practical Nursing program in August with 31 students.
While the college can’t begin the program until it has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission, Salina Tech’s Director of Nursing Becky Claus urges anyone interested to contact the college soon to find out about entrance requirements, prerequisites and begin the application process.
To be eligible to enter the program, a potential student must already have an active Kansas LPN license and complete 25 credit-hours of prerequisite classes, including English Composition I and College Algebra, plus other requirements. Those prerequisite classes are offered through Salina Tech, and many can be taken online.
For a full description of the program and entrance requirements, contact Salina Tech at 785-309-3100 or visit SalinaTech.edu, and look under Programs > Registered Nursing.
Plans for starting nursing programs at Salina Tech started not long after Greg Nichols became president of the college in July of 2016; the previous month, Brown-Mackie College in Salina announced it was shutting down. Nichols reached out to stakeholders within the healthcare community to gauge the support for nursing in Salina. The college formed an advisory committee composed of nursing and healthcare leaders to guide the discussion of nursing education.
“There is always a need for nurses, and Brown-Mackie had been graduating around 60 new nurses each year,” Nichols said. “Part of our mission is to meet the employment needs of the region, and there was definitely going to be an even greater need [for nurses] going forward.”
In May of 2017, the college hired Claus as its first Director of Nursing, and she set about building a curriculum for the nursing programs and gaining the approval of the various agencies that oversee higher education in general and nursing education in particular. Claus had been Director of Nursing at Manhattan Area Technical College for 10 years before coming to Salina Tech.
Salina Tech was founded in 1965, and now has 14 full-time programs in which students can pursue either a Technical Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree. It also offers numerous short-term classes throughout the year.
Forbes Magazine recently ranked Salina Tech as the No. 8 two-year college in the United States, while the New York-based Aspen Institute has ranked Salina Tech in the top 10 percent of community colleges nationwide five consecutive times.