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To make the Associate of Nursing Degree better for students, regional healthcare providers and the future patients of graduates, Southeast Arkansas College Division of Nursing and Allied Health is overhauling the degree’s curriculum.  These changes will improve course work, provide instructors with cutting edge teaching approaches and add embedded assessment tools throughout the program.

After reviewing the implementation plan for the new curriculum design and examining best practices for making such improvements, SEARK has elected to voluntarily suspend new enrollment for one year.  The program will begin to enroll its next class beginning in the summer of 2019.  This decision only impacts enrollment in the Generic Option for the Associates of Nursing Degree and the LPN/Paramedic to RN transition Option.  There will be no impact to any of the other division programs including Practical Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, Nursing Assistant, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Technology or Surgical Technology programs.     For most students, the impact is minimal as the first year of the program is often completing prerequisites and general studies requirements.  

According to Jennifer Holcomb, Dean Nursing and Allied Health, “This curriculum overhaul is part of our continued efforts to improve the quality of our programs.”   Holcomb also stated, “We began preparing this implementation plan during the fall semester and believe that by redesigning our curriculum, we can provide greater support to both our students and our instructors in what is an already extremely difficult field of study.”  

According to Steven Bloomberg, SEARK President, “We are working to make the program better and this approach has a proven record of achieving the desired outcomes.  We also believe that to make these improvements, our faculty need to be solely focused on re-tooling and developing the curriculum.”  Bloomberg continued to state “With this plan, we will keep all our faculty and staff.  We have a strong team and all members of the Associate of Nursing Degree staff are instrumental to making these improvements.  For our current students, we have developed plans to continue to support them as they achieve their goals.  Some students have elected to pursue other degrees within the Nursing and Allied Health Department.  For students that wish to continue their nursing degree a teach-out plan is being implemented.”

The curriculum redesign will focus on a concept based approach that will include embedded assessments of a student’s knowledge and skill development.  This approach will be more in line with the national licensure exams (NCLEX-RN).    The imbedded assessments will provide regular feedback about student’s level of mastery of the subject matter and the skills required of a nurse in the field.   The redesign will strengthen instructional support to incorporate new classroom resources to enhance student learning. 

For more information about the curriculum changes or information about the Associates Degree Nursing program or any program within the Nursing and Allied Health division please contact Jennifer Holcomb at (870) 850-4917 or via email at jholcombatseark.edu.