WellSpan to open nursing school via new partnership

York, Pa.-based WellSpan Health is partnering with Jersey College to open a nursing school in South Central Pennsylvania.

The school — also based in York — will offer an associate degree program, with the inaugural class of students starting Aug. 26. The school plans to enroll 30 to 50 students per cohort, with three cohorts per year, allowing dozens of new nursing professionals to graduate annually. 

WellSpan York Hospital, the system's flagship hospital, will serve as the first clinical site for the school. The system may add additional clinical sites as the program grows and leaders examine where prospective students are coming from, according to Kasey Paulus, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive of WellSpan Health. 

The effort will build on WellSpan's existing relationships with educational institutions offering baccalaureate nursing programs and help bolster the region's nursing pipeline, according to Ms. Paulus.

"We have some tremendous relationships with other academic partnerships," she told Becker's. "This was really about rounding out the offerings that we can put out there for prospective students."

The program will combine direct clinical experience at WellSpan facilities with classroom instruction, offering a nontraditional, stackable credentialing approach and track to a bachelor's degree in nursing, according to Ms. Paulus. As WellSpan is offering all clinical rotations for the program, students will have the opportunity to integrate fully into the system's culture and team, enhancing their learning experience.

"The goal is that at the end of their training, they say they want to stay at WellSpan," Ms. Paulus said. "So it's really a way for us to continue to build the pipeline and grow and develop our own." 

WellSpan also offers tuition reimbursement and loan reimbursement options for employees who seek to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing.  

Teterboro, N.Y.-based Jersey College is a private career college specializing in nursing education. The organization currently has 16 U.S. campuses, 13 of which are hospital-based professional nursing programs, according to a June 11 news release.

Editor's note: This article was updated June 12.

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