In fall 2019, the University of Arizona College of Nursing will advance its commitment to integrative heath when it begins offering a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing pathway devoted to blending conventional health care with complementary approaches to mind-body-spirit wellbeing.

The new program will occupy the entire third floor of the University Building in downtown Gilbert, Ariz. The UA’s office of Academic Initiatives and Student Success, which handles leases on all distance campus network spaces, is leasing the space. With an expected enrollment of 72 students in its first year, the program is projected to have a total enrollment of 216 students by its third year. 

“We are thrilled that the University of Arizona is bringing its nationally ranked nursing program to Gilbert,” said Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels. “I look forward to supporting this great institution in its efforts to fill the demand in Arizona’s rapidly growing health-care industry.”

“We are excited to have the opportunity to launch our new BSN integrative health program in Gilbert,” said UA Nursing Interim Dean Ki Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This will be the first nursing program nationally to incorporate integrative health content and interventions into a BSN program. We will use state-of-the art simulation to help students master clinical skills and innovative technology to deliver course content as we prepare the next generation of professional nurses.”

A blend of online and traditional classroom learning, the four-semester, upper-division BSN-IH program differs from the conventional BSN pathway in that it focuses on integrative health and wellbeing assessment and promotion. Offering an alternative to traditional biomedical and pharmacological options, integrative health promotes a healing-oriented, whole-person approach to health care. Conditions are clinically treated through a variety of methods, including lifestyle enhancement, nutrition and appropriate biomedical therapies.

The BSN-IH program will help enrolled students obtain the education and experiences they need to become successful registered nurses with a focus on integrative management of chronic conditions and serious illnesses. The University Building is equipped with a nursing simulation suite designed to replicate a hospital patient-care setting, which was a major factor in the UA choosing to locate in Gilbert. This infrastructure aligns itself with the UA’s commitment to its 100-percent engagement initiative, which focuses on incorporating experiences beyond the classroom to provide a framework for students to enrich their professional and personal growth.

“This new BSN-IH program is unique in highlighting nurses’ role in leading integrative health care to consider whole person/whole system, relationship-based and person-centered approaches to care,” said Connie Miller, DNP, chair, the Division of General Nursing and Health Education. “Online courses, complemented by face-to-face skills development and maximized simulated learning experiences, will take full advantage of this wonderful simulation suite in Gilbert.”

The UA Health Sciences has outlined a set of mission-critical priorities, which include “future-proofing” its graduates, preparing them to lead and work with interdisciplinary teams to improve care.  

The BSN-IH program is the logical next step for UA Nursing’s focus on integrative health, which has developed strong academic and community ties through its landmark Integrative Nursing Fellowship and its partnership with The Hacienda at the River, a senior residential community in Tucson.

“This innovative BSN-IH degree program is another example of this university’s commitment to create world-class programs and curricula, while leveraging our vast expertise to make a healthy difference in the world around us. We have a unique opportunity in the City of Gilbert, which reinforces our commitment to have a statewide impact on health through excellence in education, breakthrough research and patient-centered care,” saidMichael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president, UA Health Sciences.

“The UA is committed to offering high-quality degree programs in communities across Arizona where student demand, degree outcomes and the needs of the community are well-matched,” said Joel Hauff, associate vice president, academic initiatives and student success. “The location of the BSN-IH program in Gilbert represents a perfect match in all of these areas.”

For enrollment information, visit UA Nursing’s BSN program page.