LIMA — A new partnership with Defiance College will allow students to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree without ever leaving Rhodes State College.
Registered nurses or Rhodes students working toward the associate nursing degree can begin the bachelor’s completion program in January. Defiance faculty will teach their courses on the Rhodes campus.
Students will be granted admission to Defiance at junior status. During the transition year, students will take additional general education and humanities courses. The program will save students tuition costs, said Richard Woodfield, Rhodes’ interim vice president for academic affairs.
“Those bridge classes count for the third year at Defiance. So really the students are going to get the tuition of three years at Rhodes and one year, plus two courses at Defiance,” he said.
The nursing classes will be offered online or in hybrid/blended formats at Rhodes. Woodfield said current bachelor’s of science in nursing degree programs available to local residents are all online without contact with a teacher. It is an option that everyone isn’t comfortable with.
“It is a traditional path with live faculty. That part of it is real appealing,” he said. “We enroll all kinds of adult learners. Some do better online than others, and having the opportunity to have a choice is really important.”
Two Defiance faculty members will likely be on campus with additional adjuncts coming from Lima. Defiance has been working with local hospitals and already has a group of registered nurses ready to begin the program in January. The hope is to get at least 20 students, but the program could take twice as many.
Woodfield doesn’t think the school will have any problem filling spots.
“The need is really being communicated by the community,” he said. “Our business and industry partners are telling us they wanted Rhodes to help them get more BSNs, especially St. Rita’s.”
Rhodes has more than 400 students enrolled in the first and second years of its associate nursing degree program. Woodfield said plenty of them will be interested in continuing with the Defiance program.
While Rhodes has partnerships with other schools, this is the first of this type with teachers coming to campus, Woodfield said. The other partnerships are largely online based.
Rhodes started a new exercise science certificate program this fall. It is applying for the program to become an associate degree and could later partner with Defiance for a bachelor’s degree.
Students interested in the nursing program should call 419-995-8029.