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Kent State Partners with Lake Health and Lakeland Community College to Expand Nursing Program

Posted Feb. 14, 2011
leads Lake Health and Lakeland
Morris Beverage, Susan Stocker (center) and Mary Ogrinc
of Lake Health System

Kent State University at Ashtabula is partnering with Lake Health and Lakeland Community College to expand educational opportunities for nurses in Northeast Ohio. The new arrangement allows registered nurses with an associate degree to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Kent State by attending classes at Lake Health's TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township.

"The initiative and leadership demonstrated by the Lake Health administration to establish this unique partnership has been tremendous," says Dr. Susan Stocker, dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State Ashtabula. "It shows their commitment and support for nurses to continue their education, benefitting not only the Lake Health facilities, but health care facilities throughout the region as well."

The nursing courses will be delivered by Kent State Ashtabula, although they will be held at TriPoint, are open to registered nurses employed at other health-care facilities. "We are hoping nurses who work in other health-care organizations throughout Northeast Ohio will take advantage of this opportunity," Stocker said.

"This is an exciting partnership that provides the best of all worlds" says Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and chief executive officer of Lake Health.

The lower-division general education requirements will be offered by Lakeland Community College on the Lakeland campus.

"I think this partnership is a great demonstration of community institutions working together to improve educational accessibility and affordability," says Morris Beverage, president of Lakeland Community College. "We are very proud to be a part of it."

The partnership came together quickly. "Last spring, administrators at Lake Health approached Laura Dzurec, dean of Kent State's College of Nursing, about working together," Stocker says. "We moved those conversations forward and were pleased to be able to start the program this past fall."

Approximately 10 students are expected to take part in the program this semester, with the expectation that numbers will increase as more nurses learn about the opportunity.

More than 40 percent of Northeast Ohio nurses earned their degrees from Kent State. The university's nursing program is the largest in the state of Ohio and the fourth largest in the nation.

"We are committed to addressing the nationwide shortage of nursing professionals by offering a wide range of accessible educational opportunities at different levels," Dzurec says. "This has strengthened our cooperation, and it is consistent with recommendations established in the new Institute of Medicine report to enhance nursing education."

For more information about this new initiative, contact Brandy Orlando, recruiter and advisor for health professions at Kent State Ashtabula, at borland2@kent.edu or 440-964-4317.