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Press Release

Release Date: January 20, 2017

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


CSU-Pueblo Press Release

CSU-Pueblo Department of Nursing becomes School of Nursing

PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare announced today (January 19) that the Department of Nursing, effective immediately, will become the School of Nursing housed within the College of Education, Engineering and Professional Studies in order to bring additional visibility to more than five decades of service to health care in the region. The announcement was made during the Nursing Convocation, a formal event held annually to welcome undergraduate and graduate nursing students and the nursing community at large to a new year.

The CSU-Pueblo Department of Nursing has been educating professional nurses to meet the health care needs of diverse populations since 1964. Over the past 50+ years, the department has accomplished numerous milestones and has become an integral part of the Pueblo community. CSU-Pueblo has conferred more than 2500 bachelor’s degrees and 150 master’s degrees over the last five decades.

According to Nursing Interim Associate Dean Dr. Joe Franta, evolving into a School of Nursing gives recognition to the community and university that nursing is on the move as a leader. He said the demand for nurses is continuing to be a national concern with Business Insider (December 2016) listing Registered Nurses as the number one best job of the future for 2024 with an estimated increased need of 439,300 new positions.

“The CSU-Pueblo School of Nursing is a status that will not only enhance our nursing program but the image and academic reputation of the university as well,” said President Di Mare.

“As a School of Nursing, we will be better positioned to address those local and subsequent national needs opening doors to the university leadership, community partners, and other schools of nursing,” Franta said. “By offering the University’s first doctoral program, the School of Nursing will stimulate the local, regional, and university community and be a point of pride for students and faculty as we continue to evolve and grow.”

The nursing program began as an associate degree (ADN) program in 1964, replacing the diploma program at St. Mary-Corwin School of Nursing. Concurrent with the graduation of the first class, the program earned accreditation from the National League for Nursing (NLN). In 1974, the nursing faculty began to develop an upper division degree-completion baccalaureate program for registered nurses, which received its initial NLN accreditation in 1981. Then ADN and degree completion programs transitioned into a basic baccalaureate in nursing (BSN) program, which graduated its first class in 1987. The BSN program has maintained national accreditation and Colorado Board of Nursing approval since that time. CSU-Pueblo has a NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) 2015 pass rate of 97 percent and 2016 average of 90 %, both exceeding the national average of 87 percent.

In 2003, the university approved the Master of Science with a Major in Nursing degree and national accreditation was achieved in July 2006 with reaccreditation in 2011. The graduate program prepares nurse practitioners in: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care, Adult/Gerontology Acute Care and Family, and Psychiatric/Mental Health. The program also prepares Nurse Educators.

In 2016, the Parkview Foundation supported the University’s capital campaign with a gift of nearly $1 million to create the Parkview Foundation Chair, Simulation Coordinator and Simulation Technician positions in the nursing department. These funds will allow the capacity of nursing students to increase by 60 students, thus helping to fulfill a need for highly-qualified nurses in the region.

The faculty recently developed a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for nurse practitioners when a state senate bill was signed in 2012 allowing CSU-Pueblo to offer doctoral degrees. When the DNP program is implemented following a variety of approvals by internal and external entities, the DNP will be a great step forward for individuals who want to become leaders in advanced nursing roles and make changes at the systems level that will impact health care at the local, regional, and national levels.

The new School of Nursing will continue to provide service to the community through partnerships with various agencies and health care facilities. Assisted by an advisory board made up of community members, the department prepares students who adapt to the environment of the region’s health care settings and work as highly effective team members in the ever- changing field of health care. For the last 20 years, faculty and students have been responsible for the annual Pueblo KOAA 9Health Fair, which provides extensive health screenings and education to more than 500 community participants each year. In collaboration with the Pueblo Early Childhood Council, students coordinate the annual Baby Shower and the Healthy Halloween events to provide information for parents regarding growth and development and child safety. Nursing students also provide respite care throughout the year for families with special needs children in collaboration with the Pueblo City County Health Department and the YMCA.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.

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