Centenary signs partnership with Baylor University School of Nursing

Left to right: Nan Ketcham, Undergraduate Program Director at Baylor; Dr. Shelley Conroy, Dean of the School of Nursing; Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman, and Centenary Provost and Dean of the College Dr. Jenifer K. Ward

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College students interested in pursuing a nursing career will now be eligible to enter an accelerated post-baccalaureate program at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON). Representatives from Centenary and Baylor signed an articulation agreement establishing the new partnership at a ceremony held at Centenary on July 20.

“We look forward to welcoming students from Centenary College to our FastBacc program,” said Dean Shelley F. Conroy, EdD, MS, RN, CNE, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. “Our nursing school’s strong tradition of integrating faith and academic excellence in nursing education enables us to provide transformational experiences for students to realize their calling to Learn.Lead.Serve. Since we are both faith based institutions this is a good match for the students to continue in that tradition.”

Baylor’s LHSON admits qualified students to the FastBacc Bachelor of Science in Nursing program each May. FastBacc is a rigorous, intensive 12-month program that combines traditional classroom learning, online courses, clinical and lab experiences, and hybrid interactive learning courses. Students who complete the FastBacc program are qualified to apply to the Board of Nursing to take the NCLEX licensure exam.

When representatives from Baylor asked if they could visit Centenary to talk to students about the FastBacc program, biology department chair Dr. Scott Chirhart was enthusiastic.

“We have had students interested in nursing programs once they finish their biology degree at Centenary,” says Chirhart. “The Baylor program was one of the programs that was highly touted for post baccalaureate work. Once the FastBacc representatives were here, I began a discussion with them about a possible articulation agreement.”

Under the new agreement, students who complete a bachelor of science degree at Centenary, including all prerequisite courses required by Baylor, will receive preferential admissions consideration over other non-Baylor students applying to the program. LHSON academic advisors will work with Centenary faculty and staff to make sure interested Centenary students are fulfilling all prerequisites and admission requirements, and Baylor faculty will also be available to interview FastBacc candidates in Shreveport.

Students educated in Centenary’s challenging liberal arts curriculum are attractive candidates for LHSON’s competitive FastBacc program.

“Liberal arts-trained nurses have a wealth of education about human culture and history that allows them to connect to patients as whole humans—not just collections of symptoms,” says Dr. Jenifer K. Ward, Provost and Dean of the College at Centenary. “They have learned critical thinking, communication skills, and discernment, all of which allow them to engage with patients, families, physicians, and other caregivers with precision and empathy. They are also prepared to be lifelong learners, a critical need for a profession such as nursing where the tools and techniques they are required to use change so rapidly.”

The Baylor FastBacc program will be immediately available to students entering Centenary in the fall of 2017 and to current students who have fulfilled the requirements. Prospective students interested in learning more about the program should contact Dr. Scott Chirhart at schirhar@centenary.edu or 318.869.5209.

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