The celebration was attended by key individuals involved with the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN program, many since its inception. Pictured from left: Mabel Hunsberger, former coordinator, BScN program; Janet Landeen, assistant dean of undergraduate nursing education programs at McMaster University; Catherine Tompkins, associate dean, McMaster School of Nursing; Lois Gaspar, former chair of nursing programs at Conestoga College; Marlene Raasok, Conestoga’s executive dean, School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services; Paul Armstrong, dean, Health Sciences, Mohawk College; Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president of McMaster’s Global Health Office; Mary Guise, associate dean, Health Sciences, Mohawk; Rosemary Knechtel, former executive dean, Health Sciences, Mohawk; and Sharon Baptist, administrative coordinator, BScN program, McMaster. Absent: Jason Powell, chair of nursing programs, Conestoga.
A celebration was held May 31 at Conestoga College to mark the 10-year anniversary of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program.
The collaborative degree program, which began in September 2001, brings together students from McMaster University and Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology in Hamilton, and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener. It was developed after changes in provincial legislation required that all new applicants for professional nurse registration in Ontario must have completed a university baccalaureate nursing program as of January 1, 2005.
Previously, colleges in the province offered diploma registered nurse programs. With the change in the entry to practice requirement for registered nurses, the Ontario government encouraged universities and colleges to partner together to offer BScN programs.
With the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga partnership, the content is identical at all three sites and the four-year, fully integrated program is based on the McMaster curriculum and the problem-based learning (PBL) approach. The McMaster School of Nursing pioneered PBL in nursing education. It involves small-group, self-directed learning that emphasizes interpersonal skills, independent learning, and development of leadership qualities.
"The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN program is widely recognized as the best collaborative program in the province,' said Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of the McMaster School of Nursing. "It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since we originally started the planning process and we're all very proud of the successes we've had in delivering our program. It's exciting for all of us who've been here from the beginning to celebrate this occasion, and with renewed energy we can't wait to see what we will achieve in the next 10 years."