Southern Illinois Healthcare announces support for creating a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at SIUC


SIH Medical Group sign welcomes returning Saluki’s for their fall semester on Thursday, September 13, 2018. (Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE)

By Farrah Blaydes, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Southern Illinois Healthcare announced support for creating a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus as early as next fall.

“We understand our futures are linked,” Rex Budde, CEO and president of SIH said in the press release. “The success of southern Illinois is driven by the success of SIU. We need to work together to make the university as successful as possible.”

The Faculty Senate passed a unanimous decision to support the proposed addition to the current nursing program.


According to the SIH press release, a national nursing shortage has led to significant demand and competition for nurses, especially those with advanced degrees and certifications.

“This is for the greater good of southern Illinois as a whole,” Budde said. “It will give students an important option to continue their education, while SIH and SIU work together to develop strategic programs in clinical nursing care.”

Budde said the creation of a BSN program at SIU better aligns relationships with the region’s community colleges for nursing students in pursuit of a BSN but in a cost-effective manner.

“Having a local four-year program fills a vital need and an option to ‘grow our own’ not just for SIH, but for hospitals and healthcare providers across the region,” Budde said.

Julie Firman, SIH vice president and chief nursing officer, said the proposed program will provide new opportunities for those in the region.

“The new program would provide an opportunity for area high school graduates to earn their BSN without traveling away from home and create a positive impact on the supply of qualified registered nurses in the region,” Firman said in the press release.

Firman said the curriculum would align with patients needs and will aid in preparing new registered nurses for future employment opportunities.


The decision now rests with SIU Interim President Kevin Dorsey for further consideration.

Staff reporter Farrah Blaydes can be reached at or on Twitter at @Farrah_Blaydes.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.