Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

New 2+2 nursing program welcomes students

Augustana College partnered with Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences to create a direct-entry nursing program. The program allows students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Trinity after two years at Augustana. 

The direct-entry program, referred to as the 2+2 program, was introduced this month. The program allows nursing students to finish their degrees and enter the workforce faster than other programs offered by Augustana and Trinity. 

Available now to prospective pre-nursing students, Trinity will simultaneously admit eligible students who have also been admitted to Augustana. Admitted students will then receive faculty advisors at both Augustana and Trinity.  

Chancellor at Trinity, Tracy Poelvoorde, hopes the program will draw more nursing students to Augustana, creating a larger nursing program at Trinity.

“[Augustana and Trinity’s] missions line up well, as Augustana teaches students to be leaders out in the world and look beyond themselves,” Poelvoorde said. “That’s exactly what we want.”

The new direct-entry program is designed for students who know they want to enter nursing before applying to Augustana. Students will take prerequisite courses at Augustana and two years of nursing courses at Trinity. 

According to Trinity College’s website, direct-entry applicants must meet several requirements, including a 3.0 minimum recalculated high school GPA and completing at least three years of high school-level science courses. 

Before the direct-entry program, Trinity offered two programs for students after completing an Augustana degree. Students could choose an accelerated 15-month BSN program or a 6-year Master of Science of Nursing (MSN) program. Both programs will still be available with the addition of the direct-entry program.  

Stephanie Melendez ‘23 applied to Trinity during her junior year at Augustana and began studying at Trinity after graduating from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology. Melendez is currently enrolled in the 15-month BSN program. 

Melendez said she credits her skills in leadership, bedside manner and problem-solving to her Augustana experience. 

Even if she had the direct-entry option during her time at Augustana, Melendez said she would have stayed on the 15-month BSN track. 

“I really value my education, and I’m glad that I’m getting two bachelor’s degrees in five years,” Melendez said. “My whole experience at Augie has shaped me to excel in nursing school.”

Janine Rudnicki ‘23 graduated from Augustana with a BA in Biology and is also enrolled in Trinity’s 15-month BSN program. Rudnicki said the direct-entry program is a valuable and unique experience for nursing students. 

“[Students] will have security before coming into Augie, which will make their transition to Trinity even smoother,” Rudnicki said. 

Augustana and Trinity have worked together to support Augustana’s nursing students since the mid-1900s. According to Poelvoorde, a diploma school called Lutheran Hospital School for Nurses was one of the previous programs offered. 

Over time, the institutions have worked to form a strong relationship, benefitting both programs. 

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a nationwide shortage of nurses, and Poelvoorde hopes the program will support the shortage and the Quad Cities community. With an Augustana and Trinity education, nursing students will be equipped with the skills needed to serve the community. 

“Augustana partnering with us in this way really speaks volumes to their commitment to health within our community,” Poelvoorde said. “A community can’t be healthy or economically prosperous if you don’t have good health care.”

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