SIUE School of Nursing Achieves Largest Enrollment in History

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The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SON) is celebrating a historic milestone as its fall 2019 enrollment has reached an all-time high with 1,778 students.

SIUE School of Nursing Class of 2023.

This impressive increase in overall enrollment speaks volumes about the quality of our programs, our faculty and our clinical partners.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SON) is celebrating a historic milestone as its fall 2019 enrollment has reached an all-time high with 1,778 students.

The SON’s enrollment features a 17% increase (54 students) in master’s and doctoral level candidates, totaling 374 students. The total does not include an additional 30 undeclared graduate students, who are taking nursing classes.

Its undergraduate enrollment saw a 2% increase (27 students), totaling 1,404. The SON Class of 2023 comprises 173 outstanding students with an average admission GPA of 3.358 (3.000 minimum) and an ACT of 24.

“This impressive increase in overall enrollment speaks volumes about the quality of our programs, our faculty and our clinical partners,” said SON Dean Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN. “Our students receive an excellent education and are highly-prepared to practice as nurse clinicians, administrators and educators in the region and beyond upon graduation. Employers throughout the area hire our graduates knowing they will provide exceptional patient care and be leaders within their institutions and the nursing community.”

“We are incredibly proud to welcome all our students to campus this academic year,” added Ann Popkess, PhD, RN, SON assistant dean of undergraduate programs. “As one of our largest incoming undergraduate classes, this group represents communities from Waukegan to Vienna, Ill., as well as cities in Missouri and Indiana. Their academic achievement is outstanding. The SIUE mission of excellence is exemplified in this group of students.”

The SON’s dynamic undergraduate degree options include a traditional bachelor’s in nursing, a post-baccalaureate accelerated bachelor’s in nursing, and an accelerated option for registered nurses (RN) who hold an associate degree or a nursing diploma to pursue the RN to BS degree program that is offered in a convenient, web-based format to accommodate the needs of working RNs.

The SON awards a nurse educator master’s and post-master’s certificate, a master’s and a post-master’s certificate in healthcare and nursing administration, as well as a dual master’s program in healthcare and nursing administration and healthcare informatics.

Additionally, it offers doctoral degrees for post-master’s advanced practice nurses, as well as post baccalaureate to DNP programs in nurse anesthesia and family nurse practitioner. The School’s concurrent DNP/MBA program combines courses and expertise from the SON and the SIUE School of Business.

“It’s an exciting time to be around the SIUE School of Nursing,” said Andrew Griffin, PhD, CRNA, SON assistant dean for graduate programs. “Students and applicants are recognizing the creativity and flexibility of our faculty, and therefore, we are seeing exponential growth in our graduate programs.”

“We also attribute our success to our strong immersion-based programming options, the diversity of clinical experiences we provide due to our regional location and clinic and hospital partnerships, students’ excellent outcomes on standardized testing and board pass rates, and the fact that all of this is achieved at a reasonable cost for students,” Griffin added.

The SIUE SON consistently earns national recognition for its high-caliber academic programs and pioneering clinical partnerships. Among its fall 2019 accolades are:

The SON’s incredible growth contributed to SIUE’s fall 2019 first-year retention rate reaching a record high of 79%, and the University’s graduate enrollment reaching its highest level in seven years with 2,658 students.

The SIUE School of Nursing’s programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling nearly 1,800 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

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