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EKU Suspends Its Associate Nursing Program, Students Stand in Silent Protest


Eastern Kentucky University’s decision to suspend its associate nursing program brought with it reaction from a group of nurses. The EKU Board of Regents voted Friday to suspend just over a dozen programs.

A long line of maroon scrub clad nursing students stood while the board discussed suspending the school’s associate degree nursing program. Afterward, Michael Dandaneau said there’s an ongoing need for more nurses.

“There are more clinical sites than the hospitals have people to work as preceptors and clinicians there. That’s where the shortage is,” said Dandaneau.

Dandaneau, a non traditional nursing student at age 47, said he received two job offers to work in Richmond from people who came to the Board meeting to express support for associate degree nurses. Dandaneau said he’ll graduate from the program in May.

Eastern Provost Deborah Whitehouse said EKU will continue to accept associate degree students into its Bachelor of Science program.

“There are 38 Kentucky Board of Nursing approved associate degree programs in the state,” said Whitehouse, “And we have a track for anyone that has an associate degree program to complete our BSN or to be a BSN completer within one year on line and it's got about 200 students in it and we can expand that.”

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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