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Ball State University, Community Health Network partner to create the Nursing Academy

For release on April 08, 2013

Indianapolis, IN---Ball State University's School of Nursing is partnering with Community Health Network, one of the state's largest healthcare systems, to create the Nursing Academy, an accelerated degree program designed to increase the number of registered nurses in Indiana and apply innovative approaches to better prepare student nurses for their transition to professional practice.

Scheduled to open in the fall, the Nursing Academy will offer its students a hybrid approach of learning through classes offered at Ball State, online and via video conferencing. They also will work at hospitals within the Community Health Network, receiving on-the-job experience while being immersed in a clinical setting. The Community Health Network Foundation will fund scholarships for the 24 students representing the academy's inaugural class.

Linda Siktberg, director of Ball State's School of Nursing, says the three-year bachelor's degree program is designed to counter the loss of prospective students turned away each year from the state's nursing schools. According to the Indiana Nursing Workforce Development’s 2010 Statewide Survey of Nursing Programs, more than 2,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away from nursing schools in 2009 due to faculty shortages and/or a lack of clinical opportunities.

"As competition increases for these limited enrollment spots, qualified applicants may be turning to other career paths," Siktberg said. "The hard truth is the healthcare delivery systems cannot afford to lose potential nurses at this current rate."

Cindy Adams, chief nursing officer at Community Health Network, said partnerships like the newly formed Nursing Academy are a key solution to keeping up with the evolving landscape of healthcare in this nation and its unprecedented demands on the nursing workforce.

“There is a critical need to better prepare nursing students to provide high-quality healthcare for a growing and complex patient environment," she said.

Students interested in attending the Nursing Academy will first need to apply and be accepted into Ball State before applying for enrollment in the academy. A total of 48 students will be accepted into the program annually.

About Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes.  As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services.  To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.

About Ball State University

Ball State University is redefining education by providing relevant, immersive learning experiences that engage high-caliber students in intense interdisciplinary projects both in and out of the classroom. Ball State's expert, collaborative faculty members mentor students and encourage innovation and creativity in education. Located in Muncie, Indiana, a midsize city one hour northeast of Indianapolis, Ball State’s vibrant campus is home to about 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and abroad. Learn more at www.bsu.edu


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations