Nursing program takes shape


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The Innovative Teaching and Technology Center (ITTC) will house the new nursing program next year. It is currently undergoing renovations to add specific lab spaces for the nursing program.


*Correction: The School of Health and Human Sciences is dependent on future approval by the Board of Regents.

On Nov. 10, 2022, UNI announced that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program would be coming to UNI in 2024. There are many moving parts that go into planning and implementing a new program at the university, and there are many changes arriving with the new program. 

One of the biggest changes is the creation of UNI’s School of Health and Human Sciences within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The School of Health and Human Sciences will not only encompass the new nursing program, but it will also bring in some of the College of Education’s programs. The entirety of the School of Health and Human Sciences will include the Nursing and Public Health program, the Family, Aging & Counseling program, the Social Work program, and the Kinesiology and Athletic Training program. According to the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Brenda Bass, this new school will allow for a starting point for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “This change will allow the school and programs to collaborate with others, and open up the possibilities for new health majors and expansions of the curriculum,” she said.

Dean Bass also elaborated on why the School of Health and Human Sciences is going to be under the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, “It’s a focus on overall wellness — CSBS is about improving people’s lives, and this aligns with the mission of the school.” 

On top of creating space for new health programs and creating the School of Health and Human Sciences, Nancy Kertz, UNI’s Executive Director of Nursing and Chief Academic Nursing Administrator, noted how in need Iowa is for a program like this. “Iowa hospitals are hurting for nurses. They don’t have enough nurses to be able to use all the beds in the hospital, you have people that come into the emergency room that need to be admitted and end up waiting hours for a bed…Our program will provide the state with more nurses and better care.” 

Dr. Kertz also provided some updates on the state of the nursing program, between the accreditations, where the program will mainly be, and the curriculum. “The nursing program will be housed out of the ITTC, with the new renovations they’re creating specific labs for the nursing program to uplift the nursing curriculum. The curriculum will be based on lecture, lab and simulation to create well-rounded nurses.” 

Both Kertz and Dean Bass explained what the university’s relationship with Allen College will look like while establishing UNI’s own nursing program. “We’re having continuing conversations with Allen and the university’s partnership with Allen will continue, having these two different programs provide wider options for students to find what fits them best.” 

The introduction of UNI’s nursing program creates wider opportunities for everyone involved. From the Iowa hospitals to students looking for a nursing program to students at UNI in a health program, the addition of a nursing program at UNI will benefit Iowans and students for years to come.