BOISE – The Idaho State Board of Education gave its approval for Lewis-Clark State College’s proposal to offer a graduate certificate in Nursing Management and Leadership during its virtual meeting Thursday.
The approval marks another milestone for the college as it seeks to introduce its first graduate offering in school history. In March, Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 395 which officially amended Idaho Code, allowing LC State to offer graduate level coursework. Since then, the college has been busy developing this certificate.
“LC State is making history as it continues to look for ways to better serve students, industry and Idaho,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said. “On behalf of the college and the many nursing professionals who stand to benefit from this certificate, I thank everyone involved in its development, the State Board for its unanimous support, and, of course, I again thank the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Little for making all of this possible.”
The approval clears the way for the college to submit the certificate to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for approval. NWCCU officials will conduct a thorough review of the proposed program to verify, among other things, LC State has the resources, credentialed faculty, and quality course offerings for successful program delivery.
The proposed program is a collaboration between the Business and Nursing & Health Sciences Divisions at LC State. The certificate, which would be the only one of its kind offered by a public institution in Idaho, would be the first post-graduate offering in the college’s 127-year history.
The proposed certificate addresses a regional need in the health care industry, according to Fred Chilson, LC State dean of Professional and Graduate Studies. Along with a shortage of nurses and other medical personnel, there is a need for more qualified mid- and top-level managers in the nursing profession. LC State collaborated with local and regional hospitals on development of the curriculum and learning outcomes.
The result is a combination of fully online nursing and business classes – 13 credits in all – to complete the certificate. The certificate serves bachelor’s prepared nurses who wish to advance in their careers. The program is structured such that current LC State BSN bachelor of science in nursing students can begin taking courses in their final semester.
The proposed certificate would feature classes on health care policy, health care economics, human resource management, and an organization behavior or leadership offering. There would also be a specialized internship in nursing focused on leadership and management responsibilities above and beyond their current position. It is anticipated that nurses will enroll in the program on a part-time basis.
LC State officials said the NWCCU usually takes 3-4 months to conduct its review.