Officials at the Community College of Aurora (CCA) and the University of Colorado College of Nursing at the Anschutz Medical Campus have announced the creation of the Integrated Pathway to Baccalaureate Nursing Education Program (Integrated Nursing Pathway). The Integrated Nursing Pathway is a collaboration that will benefit students looking for a meaningful career as well as healthcare providers who seek to hire baccalaureate-prepared nurses with outstanding preparation for professional practice.
The program is designed to increase access for community college students to baccalaureate nursing education, and its creators say this partnership is among the first in the country and the first in Colorado. The Community College of Aurora is noted for its innovative programs in science and support services for its exceptionally diverse community; the University of Colorado College of Nursing is known nationally for excellence in nursing education, clinical practice, and research. Students accepted into the Integrated Nursing Pathway will successfully earn an Associate of General Studies degree from CCA before moving seamlessly to the University of Colorado College of Nursing to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, where they will continue their education at the new, state-of-the-art University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
A unique aspect of the Integrated Nursing Pathway is that students will be simultaneously admitted to both institutions and will be supported throughout their 126-credit program by a top-quality team of faculty and other professionals dedicated to their success.
“The collaboration between CCA and the College of Nursing in the development of this new approach to nursing education in Colorado has culminated in an exciting program that capitalizes on the strengths of community college education, builds on the academic resources at both institutions, and transitions community college students to the baccalaureate degree in less than four calendar years,” said Nancy Kiernan Case, RN, PhD, dean of the health sciences division at CCA. “Response to the program among students, community members, clinical partners, and other nursing programs in the state has been uniformly positive.”
CCA students will be integrated into the program alongside their University of Colorado College of Nursing classmates and enjoy the benefits of working together to share experiences, questions, learning, best practices, challenges, and successes in a demanding curriculum designed to prepare them for a rewarding career.
Another benefit is that students can pursue higher education in Aurora, Colo., and then have the opportunity to work in the Denver/Aurora metro area and throughout Colorado. The Integrated Nursing Pathway emphasizes the value of a diverse student population as a way of achieving excellence in practice that is reflective of the cultural diversity of health care recipients. Program creators say that the diversity of these nursing students will help to prepare them to better serve the patient populations they reflect.
Additionally, bachelor’s-prepared nurses have a distinct advantage in the workplace. They are in high demand, have greater employment opportunities, and are more likely to move into leadership roles with the possibility of higher salaries.
“We have been fortunate to have two nurse educators, Nancy Kiernan Case, RN, PhD, dean of health sciences at CCA and Gayle Preheim, EdD, RN, professor and BS program director from the University of Colorado College of Nursing, leading the development of the new pathway,” said Patricia Moritz, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. “These two visionary leaders are creating a path that will lead to exciting opportunities for the citizens of Aurora and others who wish to be nurses of the future.”
The colleges are now enrolling the first group of 30 students. Case and Moritz say that students will be simultaneously admitted to the program at both institutions.
About the Community College of Aurora
Community College of Aurora students graduate from cutting-edge programs ready to take the next step in their lives, whether it’s to transfer to a four-year institution or begin a new career. CCA promotes excellence in teaching, learning, and service to a diverse community and enrolls 12,000 students each year on its CentreTech and Lowry campuses and online. Ninety-seven percent of CCA’s students are Colorado residents, and 45 percent come from ethnic minorities. The college offers more than 40 degrees and certificates in transfer and occupational education, and CCA’s core classes are guaranteed to transfer to Colorado public colleges and universities.
About the University of Colorado College of Nursing
Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country -- from bachelor's through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. For more information, please visit the UC Denver Newsroom