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Jacksonville University Launches Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Jacksonville University, in partnership with Baptist Health, has launched an accelerated path to earning a bachelor of science in nursing. The second-degree program offers qualified individuals an opportunity to complete their BSN degree in 12 months and earn a work-promise agreement from Baptist Health upon graduation and licensure. The program is reflective of the university’s commitment to graduating exceptional, job-ready professionals in a way that rapidly addresses the ever-increasing need for qualified nurses in northeast Florida.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the demand for talented, qualified nurses to care for Florida’s growing and aging population, especially with tens of thousands of experienced nurses approaching retirement in the next 10 years in our state,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “We want to close that gap, and it’s fitting that we will tackle this challenge with our long-time partners at Baptist Health, who first joined us in 1981 to develop and launch Jacksonville University’s school of nursing.”

The accelerated BSN program combines premier nursing education and faculty expertise from Jacksonville University’s esteemed Keigwin School of Nursing with hands-on skills training from Baptist Health’s experienced and talented clinical nurses. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible for the accelerated degree program. 

“This program represents one of the most unique and innovative academic program partnerships in our region, made possible by Baptist Health’s commitment to quality health care education and training,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at Jacksonville University. “Partnerships like this one continue to drive our strategy for educating the next generation of students, and it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our faculty, including Dr. Lindsay Wolf and Professor Amber Santos of the Keigwin School of Nursing.”

Working with Baptist Health to bring this program to fruition enhances the education JU students receive, as well as their job opportunities upon graduation. “We are honored to partner with Jacksonville University to grow tomorrow’s nurses for our community, prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their dynamic profession,” said Brett McClung, FACHE, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Our nurse educators teach students our exceptional standards for patient care and help them master the required health care delivery skills to make a successful transition into the workforce.”

The exclusive partnership between Jacksonville University and Baptist Health ensures students have access to industry-leading Baptist Health facilities as they earn clinical hours. The program also pairs students with accomplished, veteran Baptist Health nurses who guide, mentor and prepare them for a successful nursing career.

“Nurses and the care they provide are catalysts for exceptional clinical outcomes,” said Mary Ellen Schopp, senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Baptist Health. “That is what we want for Baptist Health patients and that is why we are investing in this program.”

Students in the program will learn essential health care delivery skills in a strategic, purposeful and flexible instructional model and can earn a work-promise agreement from Baptist Health by successfully completing all academic, clinical and licensure requirements.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools of nursing have spearheaded infection prevention and education initiatives to combat the spread of the virus,” said Tammy Daniel, DNP, RN, BSN, NEA-BC, MHA, senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Baptist Health. “We look forward to welcoming nursing students through this program who will soon serve on the frontlines to provide comprehensive care to our patients and their families, as well as our community.”

For nearly 40 years, Jacksonville University’s Keigwin School of Nursing has been recognized for its quality nursing curriculum, faculty expertise and talented graduates. Named the No. 2 nursing program in Florida by Nursing.org, Keigwin School of Nursing’s NCLEX pass rates average between 93 percent and 100 percent, and 90 percent of graduates secure jobs upon graduation, or are accepted into a graduate program. The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at Jacksonville University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Baptist Health is Magnet™-designated, which is considered the gold standard among health care organizations that meet American Nurses Credentialing Center standards for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

Applications for the Jacksonville University and Baptist Health 12-Month Second Degree BSN Program are now open for the first cohort, which is expected to begin in the fall of 2021. For more information or to apply, visit ju.edu/nursing/undergraduate/accelerated-12-month-bsn.