The Future of Nursing at Rockhurst University

Nursing student with logos

Rockhurst University and the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences have announced their intent for the two prestigious institutions to join forces – subject to approval early next year by the Higher Learning Commission and other regulatory bodies – in a formal transaction that forms a new institution, greatly expanding Rockhurst’s and Saint Luke’s ability to meet the growing need for health-care professionals throughout the region. The two faith-based universities share similar missions and values and are dedicated to educating health care leaders from diverse populations, including students coming from high schools and colleges, and among working adults. This partnership strengthens Rockhurst’s commitment to instilling in students an appreciation for life-long learning, and promoting the human dignity of all, in Kansas City and beyond, by forming competent and compassionate health care professionals.

As one of four colleges that make up Rockhurst University, the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences at Rockhurst University intends to offer an array of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs, provided both on-ground and online:

Rockhurst University currently offers a Pre-Nursing Scholars program that provides direct admission for students into the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences after satisfactorily completing pre-requisite courses on Rockhurst’s campus for the first two years. This program will continue to be offered to interested students, with more seats available in 2020, following the approval of the formal agreement by regulatory authorities.

Classes in the College will continue to be held in its current location at 624 Westport Road, located near Saint Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza, before moving to the Rockhurst University campus following the completion of a renovated Sedgwick Hall anticipated in 2022. Rockhurst has partnered with Helix Architecture + Design, Co Architects and JE Dunn Construction on the project, which is in the design phase. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2020.

Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences are two institutions with a shared identity. Both have thrived by embracing all faiths and celebrating diversity and inclusivity, and both have called Kansas City home for over 100 years, with a firm commitment to serving and enriching the community through access to higher education and quality health care.

Although the two institutions come from different religious affiliations, they share similar core values and missions. Both explicitly state the goal of “caring for the whole person” – Rockhurst in its core value of “cura personalis,” and Saint Luke’s in its mission statement, “Dedicated to enhancing the physical, mental and spiritual health of the diverse community we serve.” Rockhurst and Saint Luke’s are also jointly committed to excellence – Rockhurst in its core value of magis, or “more,” and Saint Luke’s in its mission statement, “committed to the highest levels of excellence.”

As Rockhurst begins this new adventure, President Tom Curran reflects on how RU got here, and what this new partnership means for its future: rockhurst.edu/nursing-reflection

For more information:

  • Rockhurst University Admissions:
  • Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences:
  • Media requests:
    • Katherine Frohoff, Rockhurst University, Director of University Relations
    • Laurel Gifford, Saint Luke’s Health System, Senior Director of Media Relations


Frequently Asked Questions about the Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences formal agreement


Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences students

Why are the two institutions becoming one?

Rockhurst University ended a nursing partnership with another institution in 2018 in order to pursue a new partnership that would provide an opportunity for RU to grow and further meet the demands for higher education in the healthcare field in Kansas City, and concurrently increase access for a more diverse student population.

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Vision 2020 Strategic Plan was re-conceptualized with the understanding that the College needed to be prepared and responsive to trends in higher education, healthcare, liberal arts and general education. The College understood that it had opportunities and responsibilities in addressing workforce development needs.

The formal agreement between Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s enhances each institution’s capabilities on fulfilling these needs. By combining these two prestigious institutions, Rockhurst and Saint Luke’s will expand the breadth and scope of academic offerings, enrich co-curricular programs, and improve resources and the overall student experience.

When is the agreement’s closing date?

It’s currently planned to be no earlier than spring 2020. Updates will be provided as new details emerge and the timeline for regulatory approvals required for the formal agreement comes into greater focus.

Are any programs being cut?

The proposed agreement will not alter students’ existing programs, including those starting in fall 2019. No programs will be terminated or substantially modified as a result of the formal agreement, and students currently in programs at Rockhurst University or Saint Luke’s will be able to complete the programs for which they are currently enrolled.

Will my tuition change?

No! Students currently enrolled or being recruited to Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences will continue to pay their advertised tuition.

What about my financial aid?

There will be no change to your financial aid.

Where is my degree coming from?

It depends on when the formal agreement is approved by regulatory authorities and finalized. Once the agreement is approved and finalized, all degrees will be awarded by Rockhurst University. So, if the formal agreement is completed after Saint Luke’s spring commencement date, which we anticipate, the 2020 graduating class’ degree will be awarded by Saint Luke’s. We anticipate students graduating in 2021 will receive degrees from Rockhurst University.

Does my path to graduation change?

No. The requirements for graduation will remain the same as they currently are for Saint Luke’s students, including those starting in fall 2019.

Where will my classes be?

Classes will remain at their current location at 624 Westport Road on the Plaza while Rockhurst renovates Sedgwick Hall, planned to be completed by fall 2022.

Can I get a student job at Rockhurst?

Once the formal agreement is approved, we’d love to have you join our team! Rockhurst has numerous student employment options – please contact Mike Theobald, Director of Career Services, for more information.

Can I participate in club/intramural or NCAA Division II athletics at Rockhurst?

Once the formal agreement is approved, we’d love to have you be a part of our athletic teams! Rockhurst University offers a variety of club and intramural sports you can participate in. Participation in varsity sports will be determined by the NCAA at the appropriate time. Please contact Gary Burns, Director of Athletics, for more information.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Marcia Ladage, Chief Student Affairs Officer at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences, with any additional questions you may have.

 

Rockhurst University students

Why are the two institutions becoming one?

Rockhurst University ended a nursing partnership with another institution in 2018 in order to pursue a new partnership that would provide an opportunity for RU to grow and further meet the demands for higher education in the healthcare field in Kansas City, and concurrently increase access for a more diverse student population.

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Vision 2020 Strategic Plan was re-conceptualized with the understanding that the College needed to be prepared and responsive to trends in higher education, healthcare, liberal arts and general education. The College understood that it had opportunities and responsibilities in addressing workforce development needs.

The formal agreement between Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s enhances each institution’s capabilities on fulfilling these needs. By combining these two prestigious institutions, Rockhurst and Saint Luke’s will expand the breadth and scope of academic offerings, enrich co-curricular programs, and improve resources and the overall student experience.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Matt Quick, Vice President Student Development and Athletics, or Doug Dunham, Rockhurst University Provost, with any additional questions you may have.

 

Rockhurst University Pre-Nursing Scholars students (Fall 2019 class)

What are the requirements for direct admission to SLCHS?

 

  • Freshman admits who meet specific academic criteria from their high school GPA and ACT (or SAT) test scores are eligible.
  • Rockhurst students in the Pre-Nursing Scholar program must attend classes full-time and complete 63 pre-nursing pre-requisite credit hours from Rockhurst University.
  • Maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA at Rockhurst with no grade below a B, and meet the Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences clinical readiness requirements.
  • Direct admission to the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences is for the Spring 2022 entering term (pending regulatory approvals of the formal agreement). It is possible some seats could be open in Fall 2021, for which you can apply if you satisfy if all pre-nursing prerequisites are completed.

Where will my classes be held?

For the first 2 years, Pre-Nursing Scholars take their pre-nursing pre-requisite courses as full-time students on the Rockhurst University campus, located at 55th and Troost Avenue. The program includes multiple opportunities to engage with current Saint Luke’s students, faculty and staff as they prepare to enter the full BSN program. Then, after completing the Pre-Nursing Scholars criteria, nursing classes will be held at the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences location at 624 Westport Road, near the Saint Luke’s Hospital in the Plaza.

Once renovations to Sedgwick Hall on Rockhurst’s campus are completed (scheduled for 2022), all classes will be held on the Rockhurst campus.

Is my curriculum changing?

No, the program, including its curriculum and admission requirements, remains the same.

Can I participate in club/intramural or NCAA Division II athletics at Rockhurst?

We’d love to have you be a part of our athletic teams! Rockhurst University offers a variety of club and intramural sports you can participate in. Participation in varsity sports will be determined by the NCAA at the appropriate time. Please contact Gary Burns, Director of Athletics, for more information.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Micaela Lenhart, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, with any additional questions you may have.

 

Rockhurst University Pre-Nursing Scholars (Fall 2020 class)

What are the requirements for direct admission to SLCHS?

 

  • Freshman admits who meet specific academic criteria from their high school GPA and ACT (or SAT) test scores are eligible.
  • Rockhurst students in the Pre-Nursing Scholars program must attend classes full-time and complete 63 pre-nursing pre-requisite credit hours from Rockhurst University.
  • Maintain a 3.50 cumulative GPA at Rockhurst with no grade below a B, and meet the Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences clinical readiness requirements.
  • Direct admission to the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences is for the Fall 2022 entering term with projected BSN degree completion in Spring 2024. These seats will be honored whether or not the formal agreement is approved by regulatory bodies. Direct admission requirements still apply.

Can I participate in club/intramural or NCAA Division II athletics at Rockhurst?

We’d love to have you be a part of our athletic teams! Rockhurst University offers a variety of club and intramural sports you can participate in. Participation in varsity sports will be determined by the NCAA at the appropriate time. Please contact Gary Burns, Director of Athletics, for more information.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Micaela Lenhart, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, with any additional questions you may have.

 

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences faculty/staff

Why are the two institutions becoming one?

Rockhurst University ended a nursing partnership with another institution in 2018 in order to pursue a new partnership that would provide an opportunity for RU to grow and further meet the demands for higher education in the healthcare field in Kansas City, and concurrently increase access for a more diverse student population.

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Vision 2020 Strategic Plan was re-conceptualized with the understanding that the College needed to be prepared and responsive to trends in higher education, healthcare, liberal arts and general education. The College understood that it had opportunities and responsibilities in addressing workforce development needs.

The formal agreement between Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s enhances each institution’s capabilities on fulfilling these needs. By combining these two prestigious institutions, Rockhurst and Saint Luke’s will expand the breadth and scope of academic offerings, enrich co-curricular programs, and improve resources and the overall student experience.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Tammy Leslie, Director, Total Rewards Strategy at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences, or Barbra Upton-Garver, HR Director at Rockhurst University, with any additional questions you may have.

 

Rockhurst University faculty/staff

Why are the two institutions becoming one?

Rockhurst University ended a nursing partnership with another institution in 2018 in order to pursue a new partnership that would provide an opportunity for RU to grow and further meet the demands for higher education in the healthcare field in Kansas City, and concurrently increase access for a more diverse student population.

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Vision 2020 Strategic Plan was re-conceptualized with the understanding that the College needed to be prepared and responsive to trends in higher education, healthcare, liberal arts and general education. The College understood that it had opportunities and responsibilities in addressing workforce development needs.

The formal agreement between Rockhurst University and Saint Luke’s enhances each institution’s capabilities on fulfilling these needs. By combining these two prestigious institutions, Rockhurst and Saint Luke’s will expand the breadth and scope of academic offerings, enrich co-curricular programs, and improve resources and the overall student experience.

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Please contact Doug Dunham, Rockhurst University Provost, with any additional questions you may have.