A path to nursing

Rowan College, Inspira partner for program to help health-care students succeed

Photo courtesy of Inspira Health Representatives of Rowan College of South Jersey and Inspira Health broke ground for the Inspira Health Nursing and Health Professions building addition on Oct. 10. The project will provide eight new nursing laboratories for students.

A partnership between Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) and Inspira Health has produced Pathways to Nursing, a program introduced on Oct. 10 during a groundbreaking for eight new nursing laboratories in the college’s health-care certificate programs.

“I’m proud to be here to celebrate another great opportunity for our students to be successful in the medical arena,” said Frank DiMarco, Gloucester County Board of Commissioners director, during the groundbreaking at Inspira’s Health Nursing and Health Professions building on the Rowan campus.

“Not only does the Pathway to Nursing program offer students an excellent career path, but it also helps solve the major nursing shortage that our region and nation are struggling to address.”

“We are dedicated to preparing health-care professionals, and especially nurses, to meet the needs of our communities,” stated Dr. Susan Hall, dean of Rowan’s Nursing and Health Professions division. “I am grateful to our partners, Rowan University and Inspira Health, along with our remarkable faculty, who have done an amazing job of collaborating to meet the needs of our students so they can graduate fully prepared to care for the health of New Jersey’s residents.

“Our talented and dedicated faculty members have developed RCSJ’s Nursing & Health Professions curriculum based on their in-depth knowledge of current trends in the health-care sector,” she added.

As for new labs that will allow for a 25% increase in health-care students, Dr. Brendan Rickards, Rowan’s provost and vice president of academics, noted how the additions will help grow nursing programming.

“The addition of these labs will help RCSJ begin to address the nursing shortages that we are seeing not only regionally, but also nationally,” he explained.

Students on the Pathway to Nursing track will use the “3+1” nursing program, offered in collaboration with flagship partner Rowan University, to complete their first three years of education at Rowan College and their final year at Rowan University. Credentials earned will qualify the students for employment at other health-care providers in a little as three months.

Full- and part-time employees of Inspira will have their fourth-year tuition at Rowan University paid in full by their employer, in addition to 50% discount on Rowan College tuition and fees. During their senior year, students will be responsible only for buying textbooks and other materials, while Inspira employees will be eligible for reimbursement of those costs.

“We all know that there is a national shortage of nurses. Our nurses are our partners in care and crucial to the care team,” noted Amy B. Mansue, president and CEO of Inspira Health. “This program will help us expand the number of nurses in our region, and for that, we are truly grateful.” 

“If you look across America, where else can you find an opportunity to go to school, get a degree and not be deeply indebted, and have a job waiting for you after that?” asked Dr. Ali Houshmand, Rowan University president.

“We have removed the need for such debt through this great partnership, because we have leadership at the elected level that is forward looking and willing to partner with us to provide resources, whether it’s infrastructure, political support, or financial support for students.”

The Pathway to Nursing is built to fit individual needs. After earning an R.N., students may want to take a break from education and focus on work, so the program is designed for them to reenter school when they’re ready for their B.S.N.

“Along with being in this program, I work at Inspira Urgent Care in Sewell as a receptionist,” said first-year nursing student and Inspira employee, Nicole Czbas. “I intend to use the Inspira tuition discount for the remainder of my schooling. After I complete the R.N. program, I plan to transfer to the B.S.N. program using the 3+1 program.

“This partnership between RCSJ, Rowan and Inspira will be monumental for the students in my field.”

The first three years of education can be completed at Rowan College’s Cumberland or Gloucester campuses. The final year can be spent in person at Rowan University’s Camden or Glassboro locations or virtually through Rowan Online.

The “3+1” nursing program is open to all individuals who meet academic criteria, and employment with Inspira is not required for enrollment. To learn more, visit RCSJ.edu/Inspira.

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