In July 2021, the State System of Pennsylvania, United States of America, Board of Governors voted to integrate three Universities into one university. On July 1, 2022, Clarion (CU) and Edinboro (EU) integrated with California University (CalU) to become Pennsylvania Western University (Penn West). This integration of the three schools in the western part of Pennsylvania is necessary for the financial sustainability of the universities. With declining enrollment in traditional student populations, Penn West is shifting its focus from becoming financially viable. All three universities will maintain campuses at the current locations, and the establishment of Penn West Global Online will provide additional resources to capture more of the online market.
Due to the integration, the nursing department now offers all program levels of nursing education, starting with an Associate Degree in Nursing, accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Next is the baccalaureate in nursing (BSN) programs located at the Clarion and Edinboro campuses (each having different programs until the fall of 2023) and the RN- BSN Completion (RN- BSN) previously with individual programs located at both California and Clarion campus. The RN- BSN program has adopted Clarion’s program and is performing a teach-out of the California RN- BSN program during the AY 2022-2023. During the AY of 2022-2023, a new curriculum is being developed to start in the fall of 2023. The BSN legacy programs at the Clarion Campus (BSN and RN- BSN) are accredited by ACEN, and expect a site visit during the spring of 2024. The Master’s level options include a Master of Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN- FNP), a Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Leadership (MSN-ADM) program option, and a Post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate. Also, a Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) is offered.
Due to the expansion of the nursing department post-integration, an internal structure was implemented to manage the department’s work. This presentation will describe the development of the Nursing Department structure of this new University, why the structure was needed, the committees, their purpose, and their tasks. Also, the benefits of this structure and the lessons learned will be presented.
Audience Take Away Notes:
• How to create a decision-making structure in a new nursing department
• How to develop and use a communication vehicle in a nursing department
• Establish a self-governing structure in a nursing department
• Develop committees to manage the workload of accreditation for nursing departments