The expanding KU medical school in Salina is adding a nursing program. In an effort to attract and educate professional nurses in rural parts of Kansas, the University of Kansas School of Nursing is partnering with Salina Regional Health Center to open a new campus location in Salina.
“An important part of the University of Kansas’ mission is to build healthy communities,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “This new KU School of Nursing location enables us to further our mission by educating additional healthcare providers so we can better meet the needs of Kansans, particularly in underserved parts of the state.”
The campus will offer students a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is a program that accepts students who have already completed the first two years of their undergraduate education at any regionally-accredited college or university.
“There is great need in western Kansas for BSN-prepared nurses,” said Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN, dean of the University of Kansas School of Nursing. “We are fortunate to be working with Salina Regional Health Center and the Salina community to deliver a curriculum that will help meet the health care needs of this area.”
Nursing shortages exist throughout Kansas, and immediate job opportunities are available within the Salina region for nurses who already have earned their baccalaureate degrees.
“We can provide a quality clinical training experience in a rural setting and instill the values of living in a smaller community so that one day these graduate nurses might choose to enter practice in rural Kansas,” said Mike Terry, CEO at Salina Regional Health Center. “We’ve already seen promising results toward rural recruitment with the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program here in Salina. This new endeavor has the potential to help alleviate demands for baccalaureate nurses in Salina, for our partner hospitals in the Sunflower Health Network in north central Kansas and in rural communities across the state.”
The new campus location will share existing facilities with the University of Kansas School of Medicine and will accept a class of 12 students in fall 2017. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program will be identical to the program in Kansas City and will be delivered via distance education from Kansas City and on-site faculty in Salina. Plans call for class sizes to expand to 18 students in 2019 and 24 students in 2020. By year five of the program, the campus will have reached its maximum capacity of 48 students.
“We are excited about a regional nursing school campus in Salina to complement our existing regional medical school,” said William Cathcart Rake, M.D., dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Salina. “We can share the lessons learned from the creation of a rural medical school campus and the opportunity to share resources and to participate in interprofessional educational activities.”
KU Medical Center developed these regional campuses with the intent of encouraging young health care providers to practice in rural communities.
“This new KU School of Nursing campus location is just one more way that the University of Kansas Medical Center is working to train the next generation of health care professionals for Kansas,” said Doug Girod, M.D., executive vice chancellor for the University of Kansas Medical Center. “The vision and support from the Salina community has made this a true partnership that we hope will make a real difference in the lives of Kansans.”]