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Northern makes changes to 2-year nursing program


A review of Montana State University-Northern's two-year nursing program is in, and some changes by Northern are in the works.

"We're trying to take a program that's done a good job and make it better," Ralph Groseth, assistant to Montana State University president Geoff Gamble, said this morning.

The nursing program will make the changes under new leadership. Nursing faculty member Mary Pappas today took over as interim director of the program. Director Trish Goudie resigned as dean.

The review was requested by Northern after a group of students who failed to pass the two-year program last spring complained about the program to the Board of Regents.

Goudie said she resigned as dean and requested a leave of absence from the university next spring so she can finish her doctoral dissertation, which she has delayed twice because of conflicts with work. She will remain a member of the nursing faculty.

Goudie said she is glad the university is willing to put time and resources into the nursing program.

"They're really supporting the program and I'm glad. It needs that," Goudie said.

Tina DeLapp, director of the nursing program at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, performed the review. MSU-Bozeman's interim dean of nursing, Jean Ballantyne, hired DeLapp.

"We thought we should be out of it," Northern Chancellor Alex Capdeville said today.

Ballantyne said the review found some strengths in Northern's two-year nursing program.

"However, the strengths were overbalanced by weaknesses in curriculum design, in the teaching-learning process and administration (of the program,)" she said.

Some of the short-term changes the university plans to affect the way examinations are administered and reviewed, how students receive feedback about their progress, and how students are assessed.

Some long-range goals include reviewing and improving the curriculum of the program, identifying prerequisites for admission to the program and staying with those requirements, increasing professional development for the faculty, and implementing mentoring for new faculty and for students.


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