Columbus Business First
Friday, May 4, 2012
by Carrie Ghose, Staff reporter
Saturday’s commencement for the largest class ever to graduate from Mount Carmel College of Nursing includes the first 15 to earn bachelor’s degrees from its Lancaster extension campus at Fairfield Medical Center .
The campus increased the Columbus school’s capacity to provide classroom and hands-on clinical learning space for more students, as several area schools seek to ease projected shortages of health professionals. Athens-based Ohio University’s medical school seeks to do the same thing for training primary care physicians with an extension campus planned in Dublin.
It also brought bachelor’s-level training to Fairfield County, which has historically had nursing programs that stop at diplomas or associate’s degrees. Changes in the health-care industry have more hospitals demanding the BSN degree.
Cynthia Pearsall, Fairfield’s chief nursing officer, has brought the hospital partnerships for clinically focused master’s-level training with Xavier and Otterbein.
About the time those programs were starting, Mount Carmel College President Ann Schiele, who has a long relationship with Pearsall, approached her about starting the baccalaureate program, college spokeswoman Robin Hutchinson Bell said.
Part of Mount Carmel Health System, the nursing school started as a diploma program in 1903 and was licensed as a degree-granting college in 1990. Its first BSN graduating class was 48 students in 1994. By 2002, that had grown to 79. In 2007 it matriculated its first five master’s students. This year’s class is 189 BSN and 10 master’s students. Next year’s overall enrollment is projected at a record high of 1,000.