The Kansas Department of Commerce has awarded Salina Area Technical College a $210,000 grant to help with the start-up costs of the college’s planned Associate Degree in Nursing program.
The grant was through the Department’s Jobs and Innovative Industry Skills Training (JIIST) program.
The planned Associate Degree in Nursing program will be the second nursing program Salina Tech has started in recent years. The college’s first Practical Nursing class began in August of 2018. The Practical Nursing program can be completed in nine months, while the ADN program spans two years (not including prerequisite classes).
The Associate Degree in Nursing program was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas State Board of Nursing this past September, and is awaiting approval from the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission.
The first ADN class is expected to start in August of 2019.
Becky Claus, Director of Nursing at Salina Tech, urges anyone interested in the program to contact the college at 785-309-3102 to learn about entrance requirements, prerequisites and begin the application process. Already, several people have applied to the ADN program.
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.
Salina Tech began building its nursing programs in 2016, shortly after Brown-Mackie College closed. College President Greg Nichols reached out to stakeholders in the healthcare community to gauge the support for a new nursing program in Salina.
“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.”
Nichols said community support for the two programs has been “outstanding,” and that the new Department of Commerce grant was possible because of a grant from Salina Regional Health Center. That match is valued at $170,900.
Salina Regional is donating use of the Braddick Building on its campus, which was extensively remodeled in 2011 to house the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Salina. The medical school moved this past fall into the former Bank of America building on North Santa Fe.
“We’re excited about this partnership with Salina Tech to expand nursing education in the region,” said Joel Phelps, President/Chief Operating Officer at Salina Regional Health Center. “This is a great opportunity to expand the LPN program and we’re looking forward to the program’s future success.”
Salina Tech was founded in 1965, and now has 16 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. The college also has the highest graduation rate of any state college or university.