Saint Joseph’s College of Maine teams up with Central Maine Medical Center to offer innovative nursing program

Saint Joseph's College and Central Maine Medical Center have announced a new partnership that is allowing CMMC nurses with an R.N. degree to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing on-site at the Lewiston hospital. Nurses at the Rumford and Bridgton hospitals, both part of the CMMC network, are also working toward their BSN degree through TV connections to classes, and the course instructor will also conduct a class at each of those sites during the semester.

The first nursing class offered is unique because it's two-thirds on-site and one-third online. Dr. Linda Conover, who administers the nursing program for adult learners through Saint Joseph's Graduate & Professional Studies division, says she also tried to make the schedule easier for working parents, so no class is scheduled during school vacation weeks.

The partnership between the two institutions is not limited to nursing education. "We have many programs to meet educational needs of all CMMC employees, and we hope to work with them for a long time," says Lynn Olson, dean of the adult learning division at Saint Joseph's. The division focuses on distance and online education for working adults.

Sharon Kuhrt, director of CMMC School of Nursing, says nurses of all experience levels and specialties have filled the evening class held once a week. Not only does the hospital pay their class tuition, their salaries climb once they earn a bachelor's in nursing. Nationally, 40 percent of nurses have bachelor's degrees.

February 16, 2007 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu