McKendree to Offer On-site BSN Classes at Hardin Memorial Hospital

(RADCLIFF, Ky., October 28, 2014) — Hardin Memorial Hospital (HMH) and McKendree University have announced a partnership to provide on-site classes toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree for Hardin Memorial Hospital nursing staff members.

During a signing ceremony held at the hospital on Oct. 27, HMH and McKendree representatives praised the agreement as another step toward advancing professional growth for nurses. “In addition to supporting our nursing workforce, research demonstrates that having a BSN helps improve patient outcomes,” said Sharon Wright, MSN, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer of Hardin Memorial Hospital. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer our employees the opportunity to further their education right here at the hospital.”

The idea came to light several months ago when Wright met with Richelle Rennegarbe, Ph.D., R.N., chair of the Nursing Division and associate professor of nursing at McKendree University. Conversation centered on the goal of advancing education and patient care while helping students balance work schedules. Rennegarbe had implemented a similar on-site BSN program at two others hospitals in Illinois and was interested in furthering the idea in this region.

“Hardin Memorial Hospital has a stellar reputation in the field of nursing. We felt that a partnership to offer our RN-to-BSN program with their organization would be a win-win for both of our organizations,” said Rennegarbe. “This will be the first such partnership in the state of Kentucky.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, a BSN degree is not the end all answer to improving healthcare, however it does recommend the proportion of nurses with two-year baccalaureate degrees increase to 80 percent by 2020. HMH has adopted this plan and beginning summer 2014, all newly hired HMH RNs are required to have a BSN degree, or agree to start a program within one year, and complete the BSN degree within five years. The hospital also offers tuition support to assist in achieving this goal.

As it stands now, HMH will begin offering BSN classes in 2015 in three, 3-hour course segments: Computing Concepts (Jan. 12-March 2); Ethical Legal Issues In Nursing (March 16-May 4); and Healthy Policy & Economics (June 1-July 20). Officials from both organizations say they will need a minimum of 10 students to begin the program and would ideally like to have 15 to 20 students enrolled. Classes will be conducted in classrooms within the hospital.

Founded in 1828, McKendree University is a private liberal arts institution based in Lebanon, Ill., 25 minutes from St. Louis. In addition to its Lebanon campus, McKendree has facilities at nearby Scott Air Force and in Louisville and Radcliff in Kentucky, in addition to various online programs. The university also offers advanced degrees for nurses.

Classes begin each month at the Louisville and Radcliff campuses, offering an associate degree in business administration and bachelor’s degrees in business administration, marketing, accounting, management and human resources; computer information systems, information technology, nursing and organizational communications. The master’s program includes human resource management, international business, business administration, nursing management and nursing education.


Photo of New Partnership

Representatives of McKendree University and Hardin Memorial Hospital gathered for a

commemorative signing of a new partnership to provide on-site classes toward a

Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for HMH nursing staff members.