Nursing jobs are expected to grow by 15 percent through the year 2026, faster than any other occupation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need is largely due to an aging nursing worforce and the fact that people are living longer, said Jan Mains, nursing program chairwoman at Sinclair.

Demand for nurses driving UD, Sinclair partnership

In an attempt to meet a growing need for nurses, Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton will launch a joint program this fall offering a four-year degree that neither has provided before now.

Nursing jobs are expected to grow by 15 percent through the year 2026, faster than any other occupation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The need is largely due to an aging nursing workforce and the fact that people are living longer, said Jan Mains, nursing program chairwoman at Sinclair.

“With the population living longer and so many of our health care workers really broaching retirement age there is a shortage now and there will continue to be a shortage for many fields in health care,” Mains said.

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One way the new bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing will address the demand is by allowing students to work in the field as they complete the program.

The new “1+2+1” program, will allow students to attend their first year at UD, complete a Sinclair associate’s degree during their second and third years and finish their fourth year at UD. Students will take the National Council Licensure Examination after year three, allowing them to work as licensed registered nurses while completing their senior year at UD.

UD and Sinclair’s program has received approval from both the state and the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting agency tasked with oversight of colleges in 19 states. The schools will accept a maximum of 25 students into the program this fall, said Tonya Breymier, nursing program director at UD.

The set-up will allow UD students to get a four-year degree at a lower cost because students would pay UD tuition during their freshman year, Sinclair tuition during years two and three and UD tuition again their senior year. UD charges $44,100 per year and Sinclair charges just over $2,784 per year for a full-time Montgomery County student taking at least 12 credit hours and just above $3,918 for other Ohio residents.

“The bachelor of science in nursing offers students an affordable pathway to a high-quality degree,” said Kevin Kelly, dean of UD’s school of education and health sciences. “The program draws on the strengths of both institutions.”

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Health care providers are increasingly looking for nurses with bachelor’s degrees because they are more flexible, have a wider understanding of the field and can move into different roles and leadership positions if needed, Mains said. Students can expect to complete rotations at facilities owned by Premier Health, Kettering Health Network and Dayton Children’s Hospital.

There is just one other “1+2+1” nursing school partnership in Ohio, said Breymier. Defiance College, a four-year institution, has an agreement with Northwest State Community College that mirrors UD and Sinclair’s new agreement.

Nearby Wright State University already offers a BSN as do Ohio State University in Columbus and the University of Cincinnati, both of which are an hour or so away from Dayton. Kettering College also offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The new nursing degree is just the latest partnership between UD and Sinclair. The two schools launched the UD-Sinclair Academy in 2016 as a way to ease the transfer process and remove some of the financial difficulties that could prevent students from earning a degree at the private catholic university.

The academy helped lay the groundwork for the new nursing degree program, said Sinclair provost Dave Collins. Though Sinclair students don’t always initially plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree, Collins said it helps to have a relationship with UD if they do.

“When they get out in the workforce they run into mentors and others who encourage them to continue their education,” Collins said. “So having a partnership with the University of Dayton is tremendous.”

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