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ISU adds Malcolm X College to its nursing dual enrollment partnerships

ISU Nursing Simulation Lab
Illinois State University has launched a partnership with Malcolm X College that enables students to complete their bachelor's degree in less time.

Illinois State University has expanded a program that aims to get nursing students into the workforce faster.

ISU Mennonite College of Nursing Dean Judy Neubrander said the dual enrollment plan with Malcolm X College of Chicago helps students get their bachelor's degree in less time.

“The beauty of laying them on top of each other is they get some (classes) done while they are still completing their associate's degree,” Neubrander said.

ISU also offers a pathways program where students working toward their associate's degree are automatically enrolled in ISU’s online RN to BSN (Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing) program. Neubrander said that helps them get hired sooner.

“The students that want to do the dual enrollment get moving on their bachelor’s degree a little quicker … and those that want to go a little bit slower, complete their associates degree and then start their bachelor’s degree, the pathways is the route for them."

Neubrander said health care systems are more inclined to hire nurses who either have a bachelor’s degree, or are on a path to receiving it. Studies have shown those nurses contribute to better health outcomesthan those hired with an associate's degree.

“Nationally, we as a professional organization would like to move toward seeing more baccalaureate-prepared nurses,” Neubrander said.

ISU has similar agreements with Heartland Community College and 17 other community colleges in Illinois.

Malcolm X College on the near west side of Chicago houses the City Colleges of Chicago School of Nursing.

“This is better access to education for our diverse populations and we are excited to offer these opportunities to our students,” said Malcolm X College President David Sanders.

“This ISU partnership promises to open up a world of future growth prospects for our graduate nurses and gives us greater ability to expand the number of nursing candidates into the program, and for this we are grateful.

ISU plans to offer $1,000 scholarships to three students who are dually enrolled.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.