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Somerset Community College and University of Kentucky Partner on 4-Year Nursing Degree

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Somerset Community College
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An innovative collaboration among Kentucky colleges and universities is launching a new program to address the state and national shortage of nurses.

The new partnership lets nursing students earn an associate’s degree, which is a Registered Nurse or RN program, at Somerset Community College. Then the students can remain at the Somerset campus to earn a bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN, from the University of Kentucky.

The program is offered through the University Center of Southern Kentucky that launched in fall 2019. It’s a collaboration based at Somerset Community College in partnership with five four-year colleges and universities.

University Center of Southern Kentucky Director Trent Pool said the partnership helps meet the increasing state need for healthcare professionals, while recognizing the personal responsibilities of area residents who want to continue their medical education.  

“At Somerset Community College, the traditional student here tends to be that 20-some-year-old female who is working, who has children,” said Pool. “And so for a lot of our students, moving away from our service area is not an option for them.”

Pool said the new hybrid nursing program will take advantage of technology, and will also bring University of Kentucky advisors to Somerset to begin consulting with students while they’re in the associate’s degree program. 

Pool said University of Kentucky faculty will be on the Somerset campus for some of the courses, including one in the first semester of the UK program that is writing intensive.

“The coordinators want to have a presence here, so that’s not only classroom instruction, but that Q&A time in which students have that extra support from faculty to discuss things as they work through these writing projects.”

The new nursing program will begin in fall 2020.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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