JJC, Lewis University Join to Ease Bachelor’s Path for Nursing Students

Joliet Junior College and Lewis University have formed a partnership enabling students with an associate degree in nursing to earn their bachelor’s from Lewis at JJC’s Main Campus.

JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell and Lewis University President Dr. David Livingston signed the agreement May 30 at a celebratory event hosted in the JJC Health Professions Center.

Students who have completed their associate of applied science nursing degree and have at least a 2.5 GPA are eligible. JJC alumni and nursing students will be able to enroll in the program at a discounted rate.

“Creating new pathways to connect students to high-demand careers in our region is essential,” Dr. Mitchell said. “This collaboration is an excellent example of the positive impact we can have when we work together to give our residents the high-quality education they deserve. We are excited to partner with Lewis as we continue to explore new opportunities in this arena for our students.”

“We know that JJC offers an opportunity for many women and men to get into the nursing profession. And then after they’re in it for a while this partnership allows them the opportunity to move forward,” said Lewis University President Dr. David Livingston. 

From left: Lewis University Provost Dr. Stephany Schlachter, President Dr. David Livingston, and JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Randy Fletcher.
From left: Lewis University Provost Dr.
Stephany Schlachter, President Dr.
David Livingston, and JJC President
Dr. Judy Mitchell and Vice President
for Academic Affairs Dr. Randy Fletcher.

JJC’s Dean of Nursing, Health, and Public Service Dr. Amy Gray said the partnership with Lewis addresses an acute shortage of nurses in the U.S. Given the aging population and that nurses are retiring at a rapid rate, Gray said there are not enough graduates to fill the void. 

“While there are approximately three million nurses in the U.S., it is expected that the country will need at least one million more by 2022 to be able to handle the health care demands,” she said. 

Gray said many Chicagoland hospitals are now requiring a BSN for employment, a trend that is becoming the industry standard. 

“So while colleges are struggling to keep up with this demand and being forced to turn away qualified applicants with a passion for nursing, JJC and Lewis University have answered the call,” said Gray.  

“This partnership between Lewis and JJC is a wonderful complement to the amazing reputations that both schools carry with their respective nursing programs,” said Misti Ludwig, director of RN-BSN and healthcare leadership programs at Lewis University. “It is a natural progression for the JJC nursing students to matriculate from the rigorous courses at JJC and complement them with the excellence and rigor that the Lewis University nursing program brings to the table.”

Dr. Randall Fletcher, JJC’s vice president of academic affairs, said offering seamless transfer pathways for students is always a primary focus of the college.

“This partnership with Lewis University will provide both opportunity and excellence in nursing education for students in the area,” he said.

“We have worked with many students coming from Joliet Junior College and we are known to you and you are known to us,” said Dr. Peggy Rice, dean of Lewis University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Now to make it a formal partnership I think is a very wonderful thing.”

Nursing students are encouraged to apply for admission to Lewis in their first semester at JJC in order to receive appropriate advising and maximize their time with the college.

More information about the BSN partnership program, including how to enroll, can be found at the Lewis University website.


For media inquiries, contact JJC Communications and Media Coordinator Scott Harvey at 815-280-2844 or sharvey@jjc.edu or Lewis University Director of Media Relations Kathrynne Skonicki at 815-836-5711 or skonicka@lewisu.edu

About Joliet Junior College

Founded in 1901, Joliet Junior College is the nation’s first public community college. JJC enriches people’s lives through affordable, accessible, and quality programs and services. The college provides transfer and career preparation, training and workforce development, and a lifetime of learning to the diverse community it serves. The college’s initial enrollment was six students; today, JJC serves more than 38,000 students in credit and noncredit courses. Learn more at www.jjc.edu.

About Lewis University

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.