By Reeshika Sharma | Staff Writer
Whitworth University and Washington State University (WSU) have a collaboration that aims to provide nursing majors with a unique opportunity to earn a dual degree.
“Whitworth and WSU have this relationship from almost 50 years of shared degree,” said Dr. Mary Koithan, dean of WSU College of Nursing. She mentioned that WSU is accredited by nursing organizations and is approved by the state.
The last 50 years have seen many changes in the undergraduate programs, but the trend is that “Dual degrees, especially in professional undergraduate programs, really are accreditation requirements [and] are tightened,” said Koithan. Some of the changes include both universities sharing faculty, have shared planning procedures and participating in a central curriculum that would meet requirements for the students who are interested in this dual degree.
The courses that students take are “Whitworth transfer 100%” to the school of nursing at WSU. “The students come to WSU as transfer students as juniors and complete four semesters here. And then they graduate with a WSU baccalaureate degree in nursing,” said Koithan.
Koithan mentioned that Whitworth cannot offer a baccalaureate of nursing unless they get an accredited degree program.
There has been an increase in nursing class seats for admissions of Whitworth students. “We used to allow 15% of the direct seats, but now 25% of those seats go to Whitworth students,” said Koithan. She also mentioned that for the last cycle of admissions “100% of the students that applied actually were admitted to this dual degree.”
Koithan said that WSU nursing is working on developing ideas for a master’s entry program.
“It’s a second-degree program, so students from Whitworth come in with a degree in any major. It would be a similar type of agreement, where you could take the prerequisite courses to get into the master’s entry program and give us a second pathway to professional nursing, for instance for educational majors,” said Koithan.