ISU Opposes Community College Move To Offer B.A. In Nursing. | WGLT

ISU Opposes Community College Move To Offer B.A. In Nursing.

Oct 31, 2016

Credit Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Illinois State University leaders are concerned about an effort to grant a community college the authority to offer bachelor's degrees in nursing.

The measure pushed by State Senator Andy Manar is billed as a way to address a nursing shortage.

ISU Trustee J.D. Bergman is also a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Bergman said there was a nursing shortage seven years ago. Now, not so much.

"I think it's probably the desire for one institution to offer bachelors' degrees more than to alleviate a critical nursing shortage, because it doesn't exist any more," said Bergman.

Bergman noted community colleges have tried in the past to get authority to offer four year degrees, even though the number of high school graduates is shrinking in the U.S.

"Some of us that are a little more cynical might think that they are using the nursing argument that's the foot in the door. Where's it going to go after that? English? Elementary Education?," said Bergman.

He said the nursing shortage of seven years ago has largely gone away, though there are still pockets of underserved areas.

Senator Manar (D-Bunker Hill) will hold an informational hearing on the issue in November in Springfield.