Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN, dean of the SIUE SON.

EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SIUE SON) and BJC HealthCare today announced a new academic opportunity for BJC HealthCare nurses, offering two online Master of Science nursing degrees (MS) and a post-master’s doctor of nursing practice (DNP) beginning immediately.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Under the agreement, online Master of Science-Nurse Educator and Master of Science-Health Care and Nursing Administration programs will be available to BJC HealthCare nurses throughout its network. In addition, BJC HealthCare nurses will be offered the post-master’s DNP. SIUE’s DNP equips nurses with a sophisticated blend of interpersonal, practice, organizational, business and leadership skills. This agreement represents the first time SIUE has offered any of its doctoral programs through a corporate academic partner.

SIUE’s collaboration with BJC HealthCare began in 2010 when the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach developed a master’s in healthcare informatics exclusively for BJC employees. In spring 2017, the SON introduced an accelerated online RN to BS program for BJC nurses seeking the baccalaureate degree.

“Through this latest agreement, BJC HealthCare leaders once again demonstrate their dedication to ensuring lifelong learning for their employees, as well as their commitment to the development of nursing leaders,” said Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN, dean of the SIUE SON.

“Expanding our agreement to include these offerings provides an additional format for BJC nurses to continue their education in a more flexible format,” said Beth Camp, MA, senior learning and development consultant-academic partnerships at the BJC Institute for Learning and Development. “SIUE has proven to be an excellent partner for BJC employees interested in completing their degrees online. Many of our nurses are SIUE alumni and this partnership allows them to receive the additional benefits that can be extended to employees who choose one of our Academic Partnership schools while continuing with a school that has already served them well.”

Article continues after sponsor message

“We are excited to add BJC as a partner in our growing graduate programs,” said Andy Griffin, PhD, BSN, assistant dean of graduate programs. “We have made many recent changes to meet the needs of our dynamic student population, including the addition of two master educators, Drs. Anne Perry and Kay Gaehle, as leaders in our Nurse Educator program.”

Perry is renowned for co-authoring one of the best-selling books in nursing education, “Fundamentals of Nursing,” by Perry and Patricia Potter. A former SON interim dean, Perry joined the SIUE faculty in 2004 and has served in numerous teaching and administrative roles. Co-author Potter was a nurse and educator at BJC’s flagship adult academic medical center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, for more than 40 years.

Gaehle, associate professor and coordinator for the Nurse Educator program, is recognized for her exceptional abilities as a scholarly and dynamic teacher. She has been honored as a March of Dimes’ Nurse Educator of the Year, and received the SIUE Teaching Excellence award.

The two seasoned educators join a team of faculty specially trained to deliver online education, which provides working nurses with flexibility on when and where coursework is completed. For more information, visit

The SIUE School of Nursing’s fully accredited programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling nearly 1,400 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs on the Edwardsville campus and the regional campus in Carbondale help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. Serving the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities, BJC includes 15 hospitals and multiple health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care, and hospice. BJC’s nationally recognized academic hospitals, Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, are affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

More like this:

Nov 2, 2023 - Local Nurse Wins Prestigious Nurse Legacy Award From OSF Healthcare

Oct 25, 2023 - Extraordinary Intensive Care Unit Nurse Is Recognized

Jul 17, 2023 - SIUE’s Angela Andrews Named to 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders in Illinois

Oct 30, 2023 - New Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Joins OSF Medical Group In Alton

Aug 10, 2023 - SIUE Grad School Presents Research Grants to Doctoral Students