College of Nursing Progress
Throughout the last 18 months, RFU has been working diligently on obtaining the necessary accreditation and regulatory approvals to realize its vision for a College of Nursing. That vision was set in motion before the pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of highly trained and skilled nurses at the bedside. RFU’s College of Nursing will answer the demand for a more highly educated registered nursing workforce. The plan, which includes five clinical affiliation agreements with major healthcare systems, is moving toward approval by the Higher Learning Commission in early 2022.
It will also feature an academic partnership with Lake Forest College (LFC) that enables early conditional acceptance for qualified high school students, as part of the LFC-RFU Health Professions Program; an academic agreement between RFU, LFC and the College of Lake County in service to future nursing students who choose community college for the first two years; and an academic practice partnership between RFU, LFC and Northwestern Memorial Healthcare representing a collaboration on workforce development.
New program directors Lori Thuente, PhD, RN, and Christopher Reddin, PhD, PRN, PMHNP-BC, began faculty recruitment in late 2021. Jennifer Greenwood, PhD, APRN, CRNA, director of the Joanna Briggs RFU Center for Interprofessional Evidence-Based Practice, has been named the new leader for nursing research.