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A partnership between Baker University School of Nursing and Kansas University School of Nursing aims to help ease the national nursing faculty shortage.

The agreement allows graduates from Baker’s Master of Science in Nursing program to apply some of their MSN credits toward KU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing requirements, decreasing the amount of time it takes to finish the doctoral program. With a doctoral degree in hand, graduates can then go on to fill one of the many vacant faculty positions in nursing schools across the country.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, faculty shortages have limited the student capacity at nursing schools at a time when the need for professional registered nurses is growing. In a Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions released by AACN in October, 2018, data showed a national nurse faculty vacancy rate of 7.9 percent, and most of the vacancies required or preferred a doctoral degree.

This articulation agreement between two respected schools of nursing is the first of its kind in Kansas and is seen as a step toward reducing the nationwide nursing faculty shortage by giving nursing students the opportunity to meet this demand much faster than through a traditional educational path.

“One of our program goals for the MSN is that it establishes a foundation for doctoral study,” said Assistant Dean of Nursing Jeanne Mann. “The University of Kansas will award credit for some courses completed in the MSN program, which will save the student time and money.”

Baker’s online MSN offers two tracks—nursing education and nursing administration—and takes approximately two years to complete. The robust curriculum integrates advanced nursing theory with evidence-based nursing practices. Graduates can apply these skills to careers as an educator or serve in a variety of leadership and managerial roles within the health care system. Depending on the MSN track completed and doctoral program enrolled in, 6 to 8 credit hours will apply to KU.

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