OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
College of Nursing
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, owned by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, is affiliated with and located on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center (OSFSFMC) in Peoria, Illinois. The College is a private, non-profit, specialized nursing college offering upper division undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. The College of Nursing is the only Catholic college of nursing in the Peoria Diocese. OSF Saint Francis is one of the largest Catholic health care facilities in the United States and the second largest employer in Peoria. The tri-county area, including Peoria, has a population of approximately 365,000. Peoria is known for its leading downstate health care facilities.
The College which had its beginnings as St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing was organized in l905, for Sisters only. The School's diploma program was approved by the State of Illinois in l9l5, and opened to lay students in l9l8. The School maintained continuous State approval of the diploma program. In l950, the School received accreditation of the diploma program from the National League for Nursing (NLN), which continued through graduation of the last class in 1987. From l905 through l987, approximately 3400 students graduated from the diploma program.
The College of Nursing was established in November 1985 with approval of the baccalaureate program by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. The College enrolled its first students as juniors in August 1986. The first class graduated in May 1988. The College has graduated 1879 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students as of May 2011.
In March 2000, the College received approval from the OSF Healthcare Systems Board of Directors to develop and implement a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In May 2001, the College received approval from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) to offer a MSN program. In June 2001, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA) approved the program. In February 2004, the Graduate Program was accredited by the NCA and in fall 2004, the Graduate Program received initial accreditation by NLNAC. The first class graduated in May 2004, and there have been a total of 110 graduates as of May 2011.
The College faculty and administration are committed to quality education as demonstrated by institutional and program accreditation. The College was granted candidacy with the NCA in 1987, continued candidacy in 1989, initial accreditation in 1991, and continued accreditation in 1996. The College voted to become involved in the AQIP process in 2004. The College sent a team to the Strategy Forum in 2005. Work continues on the first three projects that were selected by the College with participation from employees at all levels. In March 1992, the College received initial accreditation of the baccalaureate program from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and continued accreditation was received in fall 2004 with the next visit scheduled for the BSN program in fall 2012. The MSN program received initial accreditation in 2004 with the next visit in fall 2009.
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing continues the history of nursing education started by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, Illinois, whose mission is to provide health care to the sick, injured, and poor, and education for health care providers to the community of Peoria and surrounding areas. The Mission of the College flows from the Sisters' Mission and is "to provide nursing education programs at the undergraduate and graduate level....The College serves the community by providing competent entry level and advanced practitioners responsive to the changing health needs of society and the health care system." The College philosophy, values, goals, and program objectives flow from the Mission. The College Goals are: 1) Prepare the graduate to practice professional nursing in a variety of roles and health care settings; 2) Provide the essential foundation for graduate study in nursing; and 3) Foster the commitment to personal and professional growth and accountability. The Core Values of the College are:
• Personal and Professional Development (includes learning, caring, leadership, and personal worth and dignity)
• Service (includes integrity, responsibility, and accountability)
• Quality (includes excellence)
• Agility (includes being future focused and forward thinking).
The College's 2007-2010 Strategic Plan provides the strategic direction and vision for the College. Beginning in 2007, the College's Strategic Plan was integrated with AQIP activities to create a more effective and efficient planning process. The combination is intended to eliminate redundant activities and remove gaps in the planning process. Through the transition, the College sustained current levels of accomplishment and gained focus by relating further goals to the Four Pillars on which the College's growth will be based. The plan is organized under Four Pillars which include specific goals:
• Pillar One - Community of Care Givers
• Pillar Two - Public Accountability: Quality, Service, and Safety
• Pillar Three - Financial Stewardship
• Pillar Four - Service Line Development: Education Programs
The College's Mission, philosophy, values, and strategic plan lead the College as it continues "the Tradition of Excellence in Nursing Education." In 2007, as part of this "tradition of excellence," the College received the Spalding School Award from the Catholic Diocese of Peoria in recognition of its long history of providing quality nursing education in the Peoria Diocese.