Springfield becomes fifth regional program for UIC nursing college

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing is expanding – to Springfield.College of Nursing

The UIC College of Nursing is partnering with the University of Illinois at Springfield and Memorial Health Systems to offer students an opportunity to earn a UIC Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree on the Springfield campus.

The addition of the Springfield regional campus of the UIC College of Nursing will help further expand its presence statewide, said Dean Terri Weaver.

“This Springfield partnership – between a nursing college ranked second nationally in National Institutes of Health funding, a health system with two Magnet-designated hospitals, and a university whose Capital Scholars honors program is recognized for generating incredible leaders – will produce academically strong, critically thinking nurses, practitioners and midwives that will meet the health care needs of the people of central and southern Illinois,” Weaver said.

“Such collaboration among well-established institutions for the greater good is rare, and I am grateful for the visionary thinking of Memorial Health System CEO Ed Curtis, UIS Chancellor Susan Koch, and UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.”

Springfield becomes the UIC College of Nursing’s fifth regional campus, joining Peoria, the Quad Cities, Rockford and Urbana.

The four-year program is completed in two phases: freshmen and sophomores take pre-nursing and general education courses at UIS, and juniors and seniors completing professional nursing courses taught by UIC nursing faculty at the UIS campus.

Admission to the professional phase of the BSN program requires successful completion of the first phase, followed by a recommendation of the college’s admissions committee.

The initial class of pre-nursing students will be enrolled next August, and the first students starting upper-division nursing courses will enter in fall of 2016. College officials expect 32 students to be admitted at that time, followed by 48 students in fall of 2017. Starting in the fall of 2018, 64 students will be admitted. The first cohorts are expected to receive their BSN degrees in May 2018.

Graduate UIC nursing programs will also be available at the UIS campus, with admissions beginning next spring for matriculation in the fall.

The partnership “could not have come at a better time,” Koch said, because as Springfield’s medical district grows, there is a demand for more highly qualified nurses in the area.

“We are bringing one of the top-ranked schools of nursing in the country to Springfield, while helping to further boost undergraduate enrollment growth at UIS,” she said. “We’re extremely excited to begin this partnership.”

The program will be supported through several scholarships provided to UIS/UIC students by Memorial Health Systems.