Manchester University announced today it is developing a new Bachelor of Science program: nursing.
"As one of the cornerstones of the health professions, nursing represents a major step forward in MU's new health science initiatives," President Dave McFadden said in a statement.
The North Manchester-based university hired Lea A. Johnson as vice president for health science initiatives. She has more than 20 years' experience in higher education and is the former president of two health care colleges on the East Coast.
Johnson will plan, develop and launch the nursing program and others, according to a news release.
"Our next step will be to hire a nursing director and then pursue accreditation from the Indiana Board of Nursing and Higher Learning Commission," Johnson said in a statement. "We know the need is great, so we will get started on that without delay."
A specific timetable was not provided.
Manchester's nursing program will focus on rural and urban health; incorporate a strong interdisciplinary learning model; and include such liberal arts skills as communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, collaboration and leadership, according to the release.
The announcement described nursing as a "natural extension" of the university's strengths in health sciences, which include a Doctor of Pharmacy program and preparation for medical, dental and optometry doctoral programs.