Based from Kaplan University's new 19,500 square foot campus in Augusta, which had its official grand opening this past October, and featuring a state-of-the-art nursing simulation laboratory, the new program is designed to equip students with the education and training needed to offset a decline in the number of qualified nurses as well as other trends.
"The program incorporates our finest technologies including online learning, advanced laboratory space, simulation experiences and partnerships with local healthcare providers," said Dr. Colleen Dutile, director of nursing at Kaplan University Maine. "Our faculty developed a program that continuously supports the learner. We have integrated content, skills and procedures in order to increase a student's knowledge and competencies, while providing a foundation for progressively higher levels of nursing practice."
The curriculum encompasses the instrumental research of the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing Report, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, and the Quality & Safety Education for Nurse competencies.
Kaplan University's program combines on-ground courses for all clinical and nursing specific work with online classes for the supporting curriculum in the sciences and liberal arts. Moreover, Kaplan University's year-round schedule and shorter terms help meet the needs of nontraditional students, many of whom are already working full-time in the healthcare field while pursuing their education part-time. This permits students to complete the full bachelor's degree program in just over three years.
"Kaplan University's program comes at a critical juncture for Maine and the nation. Tens of millions of baby boomers are beginning to retire across the country—a growing segment of the population that will live longer than previous generations and rely more and more on healthcare and the nursing profession," said Dr. Christopher Quinn, President of Kaplan University Maine.
Quinn noted that this is a particularly acute issue for Maine, which has one of the nation's oldest populations. Reportedly, Maine is expected to see some 400,000 Mainers retire in the next two decades.
Quinn also announced that Kaplan University will be hosting a nursing general information session open house on April 4 at its Augusta campus, located at 14 Marketplace Drive.
To learn more about Kaplan University-Augusta's Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, visit www.kumaine.com or call 207-213-2500.
Additional fast facts as widely reported:
- While Maine lost more than 20,000 jobs during the recession, Maine's Healthcare and Social Assistance sector grew by more than five percent, adding some 5,100 jobs between December 2007 and August 2011.
- Looking forward, hospitals and healthcare sectors in Maine are projected to add more than 8,000 jobs by 2018, with an additional 2,325 jobs expected for registered nurses—professionals who will increasingly need to have baccalaureate degrees.
- Today, nationally as well as in Maine, approximately 20 percent of nurses have baccalaureate degrees. This is well short of a national goal of 80 percent by 2020, which was established by thought leaders in the field.*
*In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The committee recommended that the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees be increased to 80 percent by 2020. While it is anticipated that it will take a few years to build the educational capacity needed to achieve this goal, the committee maintained that it is bold, achievable, and necessary to move the nursing workforce to an expanded set of competencies, especially in the domains of community and public health, leadership, systems improvement and change, research, and health policy.