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Rutgers Makes Plans to Expand College With School of Nursing

There is a shortage of nurses in the United States, and it is becoming an epidemic. That said, some institutions are doing something about it. One such institution is Rutgers University: its Camden campus has just announced plans to open its own School of Nursing starting next academic year.

Adding on to the its law, arts and sciences, and business school, this school would be the campus's fourth. At the moment its arts and sciences school already offers an upper-division nursing program, enrolling about 80 students. The new school, on the other hand, would be able to accommodate over 300 students, plus create jobs by allowing for the hiring of new faculty.

Yesterday, Rutgers president Richard L. McCormick said to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "This announcement signals Rutgers' full commitment to advancing nursing education - and, indeed, the overall quality of health care - in southern New Jersey. We look forward to working closely with hospitals and other health-care agencies throughout the region as we build a school that addresses the needs of their vital profession." Officials at the Cooper University Hospital also praised the announcement, for tackling a problem in the health care field that needs to be addressed.

The plans are not finalized yet -- Rutgers-Camden officials will be bringing their proposal for the school before the university board this fall, and then must gain approval from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. That said, Camden campus chancellor Wendell Pritchett tells the Inquirer that he doesn't expect for there to be much opposition to the request: "In this case, there really isn't much duplication of programs." In fact, Rutgers' Camden campus is one of only two schools in southern New Jersey that grant baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees.

Then what's next, once the new school is underway? Only time will tell, but the university has its sights set on nursing masters' degrees.

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