Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a regional public four-year university that was founded in 1849 and has grown to serve more than 16,000 students. Located 40 miles west of Detroit, the university established its Department of Nursing Education in 1971 to help meet a shortage of nurses in Michigan.
In 2016, EMU’s School of Nursing began a partnership with Academic Partnerships (AP) to expand its online accelerated RN-to-BSN program, which the school had launched the previous year with about 200 initial students. AP helped EMU enhance the program’s recruitment, retention, and student support, worked with its faculty to optimize their courses to an online format, and ensured a commitment to maintaining the high-quality curriculum and teaching consistent with the reputation of the EMU School of Nursing.
With AP’s support, EMU’s RN-to-BSN program has flourished. Today, more than 800 students, primarily working nurses from across Michigan, are enrolled in the program. Its affordability ($9,840 for all required courses to complete the full degree) and convenience (asynchronous course delivery) are big draws for busy healthcare professionals.
The program’s success and growth has had a big impact on the university, its partners, and its community:
- Additional tuition revenue has strengthened EMU’s finances and enabled it to reinvest in staff, technology, and student services and bring on additional faculty.
- Many of program’s graduates are serving in local hospitals like St. Joseph Mercy, drawing on their additional education to care for patients during the public health crisis.
- When the COVID-19 crisis began, more than 100 of EMU’s RN-to-BSN students quickly volunteered to support campus and community health needs in any way possible. Tapping this large group of experienced working nurses, EMU launched a new telehealth clinic to serve its campus and surrounding community.
“Academic Partnerships has been vital partner in the success of our RN-to-BSN program. Their team’s expertise, investment, and hard work has helped EMU recruit more working nurses, enhance our support for these students, and ultimately meet critical needs in our community,” says Michael Williams, the Director of the School of Nursing.
This fall, with AP’s support, EMU will add an RN-to-MSN and a Master’s in Nursing Education to its online degree program offerings.