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Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Partners with Nebraska Wesleyan on Nurse Education

November 11 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — Leaders at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and Nebraska Wesleyan University are excited to announce a new corporate partnership that will advance nursing education and ultimately improve health care in Lincoln.

Nebraska Wesleyan is offering its Registered Nurse to Bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) program onsite at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center. Classes are offered once a week at the hospital, and are taught by NWU faculty. Saint Elizabeth executive leaders are invited to instruct classes as guest lecturers.

“This is a great example of community leaders coming together to meet each other’s needs,” said Elizabeth McLeod Walls, Dean of University College, which oversees Nebraska Wesleyan’s adult and graduate programs. “Nebraska Wesleyan has a long-standing commitment to nursing education and the liberal arts, and this is an excellent opportunity to provide additional pathways for nurses.”

Twenty-six nurses have already enrolled in the program, but that number is expected to rise as more Saint Elizabeth nurses hear about the convenience of the program.

“Saint Elizabeth strongly supports advanced education. We are thrilled to be partnering with Nebraska Wesleyan to provide our nurses with quality, educational opportunities right at our hospital,” said Libby Raetz, vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer of Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.

Saint Elizabeth has been recognized as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing since 2004. By 2020, a goal of Saint Elizabeth is to have 80 percent of their nurses achieve a BSN or higher, a recommendation by the Institute of Medicine and a Magnet hospital guideline.

“Advanced education and nursing excellence go hand-in-hand. Higher education in nursing has shown to improve patient outcomes, and, at Saint Elizabeth, we want to offer our patients the best possible care,” adds Raetz.

The new partnership marks another expansion in NWU’s adult nursing program. Last year the university began a partnership with Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) where nursing classes are offered at IWCC’s campuses in Council Bluffs and Clarinda, Iowa. The nursing program for adults is also offered at NWU’s Lincoln campus and Omaha site.