posted on Feb. 5: McMaster, two colleges form consortium to launch fully integrated joint nursing program


Students who wish to pursue a career in nursing will have a new option starting this fall. McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College are launching a unique, joint nursing degree program that will fully integrate college and university students through all four years of study.

Based on McMaster's world famous problem-based learning model, the program will enable students to work in small groups and in clinically based courses. In this way, they become active partners in their education.

The four-year program will be offered at all three institutions and graduates will earn a McMaster University B.Sc. in Nursing. Total enrolment for the program will be more than 2,000 students by 2005.

“Nursing education is a pressing issue,” said McMaster President Peter George. “It is gratifying to know that the partnership of our three institutions offers an exciting opportunity to build on each institution's strengths to create a high quality program that will serve both the needs of a large number of students and the future of Ontario's health care system.”

Faculty and staff from McMaster's School of Nursing have been meeting
with their college partners since last summer to develop the
collaborative curriculum.

“That work will now shift into high gear,”
said Catherine Tompkins, assistant dean of the BScN program.
“Developing the new program is an exciting opportunity and it is also an
enormous challenge that requires a great deal of dedication and
support. Faculty development and new graduate programs will be expanded
to ensure that faculty at both Mohawk and Conestoga are prepared to
teach the new curriculum, are well versed in McMaster's approach to
learning, and are engaged in research.”

Adds Catherine Rellinger, president of Mohawk College, “This is an outstanding opportunity for Mohawk College and our students. This initiative benefits our local community and Ontario by providing highly qualified nursing graduates to meet critical needs in our health care system. Our faculty and staff look forward to working with our partners
in support of exceptional quality in nursing education.”

“Conestoga College is pleased that this alliance will allow us to extend our highly respected nursing program into a new domain. The fully integrated nature of the new program is unique, promises high quality, and permits students in the Conestoga area to do all of their program studies at Conestoga,” says John Tibbits, Conestoga College president.

The nursing consortium is in response to the need for more nurses and to the changes in the nursing registration regulations that, as of January 2005, require all new nurses in the province to have a university baccalaureate degree.