Imagine being a high school student enrolled in the Health Sciences Program at the Region Two School of Applied Technology knowing you can graduate from high school with the first year of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Maine at Fort Kent complete. A new collaboration between the UMFK’s Nursing Program, Region Two School of Applied Technology in Houlton, and UMFK’s Rural U Early College and Concurrent Enrollment Program now makes that opportunity possible for these high school students.
The new program, called Rural U Nursing: Health Sciences Alliance Program brings together the strengths of the programs mentioned above and provides students the opportunity to earn 24 or more university credits, one full academic year of credits that serve as the first year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at UMFK. Students completing the program can come into UMFK’s Nursing program as 2nd year students. UMFK’s Nursing program is also available at the University of Maine at Presque Isle adding yet another option after high school for these students.
“We are so pleased to partner with Region Two to bring freshman level college courses to high school students who are interested in pursuing a nursing degree,” states Dr. Erin Soucy, UMFK’s Dean of Undergraduate Nursing. Dave Keaton, Director of the Region II School of Applied Technology adds, “What a tremendous opportunity for our Intro to Medical Professions students and for the workforce in Aroostook County!”
Credits earned in this program will include articulated credit UMFK grants for Maine CNA Certification earned at Region Two, credits from a concurrent enrollment NUR 200 Introduction to Professional Nursing to be taught at Region Two by Health Sciences Instructor Amber Sloat, credits for Anatomy and Physiology I and II classes taught at the Houlton Higher Education Center, and early college and concurrent enrollment classes earned through UMFK’s Rural U program. While this program provides an accelerated pathway to a nursing degree, students will not be charged tuition for any of these credits; thus also providing a more affordable pathway to a BSN degree. Scott Voisine, UMFK’s Dean of Community Education adds, “All early college programs like Rural U give students a chance to experience college learning and earn credits more affordably, but this new collaboration takes it one step further provides a direct onboarding of students into a rigorous and rewarding career pathway at UMFK.”
Rural U Nursing is a direct response to the need to increase the number of nurses in Aroostook County, in Maine, and in the Region. Students will be able to begin the program immediately this fall.
This story was submitted by Dave Keaton, Director of the Region Two School of Applied Technology as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or idea, email it to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.