by James Coburn
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission has completed a visit to the Kramer School of Nursing.
“We just had the exit report from visitors who came from all over the United States to look at our graduate programs,” said Marvel Williamson, RN, dean of Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University. The commission does not review Ph.D. programs. Kramer has a Ph.D. program that is already accredited.
“I’m very pleased to tell you they are recommending full accreditation for the maximum period possible on our graduate programs, our Master of Science in Nursing, and our Doctor of Nursing Practice,” she said.
Many of the people you meet have in some way benefited from the ongoing education, innovation and professional opportunities made possible by Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University. Life depends on Kramer.
Kramer School of Nursing offers education in undergraduate levels for people who want to get into nursing as well as the bachelor’s degree for people who are already nurses. Nurses may go on to higher degrees to advance their careers, Williamson said. They achieve personal goals, whether becoming professors, nurse practitioners or researchers.
Innovation may include projects, materials and systems that haven’t been demonstrated that way before.
“It just opens more doors for you as you get higher with those degrees,” Williamson said. “But, we also offer the profession new information. Our faculty are heavily involved in scholarly work that is innovative in nature, some of it in the form or research; that is the discovery of new data. Some of it is through the development of new practices based on evidence that hasn’t been studies before.”
Regarding the nurse practitioner program, the nursing school provides start to finish education resulting in a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and eligibility to begin taking the advanced practice exam so the nurse can establish practice with prescribing privileges.
“If the health reform act that has passed already is not rescinded, we know there are going to be, across the United States, 40 million more people who will not have access to health care because of a lack of insurance who will need care,” she said.
Oklahoma has a severe shortage of family physicians and family nurse practitioners, Williamson explained. The demand is especially huge in rural Oklahoma.
“A lot of pockets of need all over the state are absolutely putting a demand on the workforce,” she said. “We have had no difficulty finding people interested in getting into the program.”
Kramer recently broke its overall enrollment record with 500 nursing students. The school has broken its record for the past 22 semesters, she said.
Many of the faculty and students are active in national, state and local professional associations. For example, Kramer School of Nursing is creating a new chapter for men in the nursing profession. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing is the only national organization of that type.
“We already have enough members to create the chapter and that will be happening in the next few months,” Williamson said.
Kramer School of Nursing is a work in progress. The school is housed in a new state-of-the art facility while the knowledge that passes through the doors is improving the world. The third floor of the building should be complete by the end of the year. Discussions include adding more education oriented to other health professions besides nursing, Williamson said.
“We will begin feasibility studies to look into that,” she said. “We’ve already begun examining state data on what programs are not being offered in the state, where the workforce is really low and employers are just desperate for people.”
The nursing program will also be adding more programs. The school is studying ways to expand continuing education opportunities for students. The success of two annual conferences has prompted discussions to offer three more of these programs. Webinars and online continuing education modules are on the horizon.
“We are always bringing in national and internally known speakers on hot topics,” Williamson continued.
Kramer School of Nursing Dean Marvel Williamson, RN, leads a dynamic team of educators who provide innovation and skills needed for the nursing profession to move forward in the 21st century.