Separation of Pharmacy and Nursing Programs Creates First Separate University School of Nursing In Northeast Pennsylvania
Wilkes University is establishing a distinct School of Nursing, becoming the only higher education institution with a separate nursing school in northeast Pennsylvania. The move, which began with the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, allows Wilkes to better respond to a growing demand for nursing programs regionally and nationally.
The reorganization separates the University’s Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and the School of Nursing. In announcing the move, Anne A. Skleder, senior vice president and provost, said that the move allows for a stronger focus on nursing education and reflects Wilkes’ larger academic mission.
“Creating a separate Wilkes University School of Nursing will add to the University’s unique academic footprint. Wilkes will have seven separate schools and colleges similar to a much larger university but our programs will be offered in the mentoring culture of a small liberal arts university,” Skleder said.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Bernie Graham for his leadership as dean of the Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing. He became dean of both pharmacy and nursing in 2003, providing excellent oversight and leadership. He will continue in his role as dean for the pharmacy school.”
Skleder also announced Deborah A. Zbegner has agreed to serve as interim dean of the school of nursing. Zbegner, who had served as director of Wilkes graduate nursing programs, will provide leadership and guidance over undergraduate and graduate programs. A national search for a permanent dean will be conducted in the coming year.
Wilkes’ undergraduate and graduate nursing programs have experienced significant growth over the last few years. Additional growth is expected due to an expanding local job market for nurses.
Wilkes offers a comprehensive program of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. The bachelor’s degree program offers three years of clinical experience – a full year more than most undergraduate nursing programs. Wilkes also offers an accelerated baccalaureate degree program in nursing for individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree.
On the master’s degree level, Wilkes offers the adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner degree, the psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner program, as well as master’s degree programs for nursing education and nurse executive. Wilkes also offers the doctor of nursing practice degree, acknowledged as the industry standard degree for advanced practice nurses. It is practice-focused doctoral program to prepare clinical experts in a specialized field. Wilkes master’s and doctoral-level nursing programs, which are offered online, draw students regionally and nationally.