Joliet Junior College recently entered into a dual-degree agreement with Illinois State University that could help nursing students progress toward earning a bachelor's degree.
The dual degree allows nursing students to enroll in JJC and ISU programs simultaneously to more quickly complete their bachelor of science in nursing degree, according to a news release.
It also provides for a direct transition from an associate degree in nursing to an online BSN program.
Representatives from the schools gathered Oct. 30 at JJC to formally sign the agreement, including JJC President Judy Mitchell, JJC Vice President for Academic Affairs Randy Fletcher, ISU President Larry Dietz and the dean of ISU's Mennonite College of Nursing, Judy Neubrander.
"It is our collective duty to provide high-quality education and streamline access to that education," Mitchell said. "There's a nursing shortage across the county. We must work together to develop as many pathways as we can to train our workforce to meet these demands."
Dietz expressed his gratitude to all parties involved in forming the agreement to help students wanting to enter the nursing profession.
"What you do is huge, and what you're going to do is even greater," he said. "So congratulations to all those who are entering a very noble profession to make a difference in the lives of so many."
Neubrander called the agreement a symbol of both institutions' commitments to the nursing profession and the progression of nursing education.
"This dual-enrollment partnership brings together two great nursing programs to provide our students an expedient, valuable, affordable route to a baccalaureate degree," she said.