FRCC Hires First Director for New Bachelor’s Degree Program in Nursing

Edith Matesic, DNP, is the first director of Front Range Community College’s new RN-to-BSN program—one of the college’s first four-year degrees. Classes in the program begin this fall.

Colorado is currently experiencing an annual shortage of at least 500 nurses with four-year BSN degrees—and this figure is expected to grow to a cumulative shortage of 4,500 nurses with BSNs by 2024. “Under Dr. Matesic’s leadership, our program will help ensure that Colorado has more of the highly-qualified health care providers it desperately needs,” said Jean Runyon, vice president of FRCC’s Larimer Campus.

Matesic has more than 35 years of nursing experience, including 12 years of academic faculty experience. She has also spent more than 14 years in hospital nursing administration; nine years in direct patient care; two years as a nurse researcher; and public health experience.

She comes to FRCC from UC Health in Aurora where she was a research nurse specialist. Prior to that, she was chief nursing officer for UCLA’s Community Academic Medical Center. In that role, she was responsible for the management of clinical and fiscal operations for the Department of Nursing Authority, and was responsible for more than 1,100 inpatient and outpatient nursing staff. She received the UCLA Director’s Award in recognition of her work.

More About FRCC’s BSN Program

FRCC’s new program will help meet this growing need for skilled health care providers in Colorado, while also providing students with an affordable route to good jobs in their home state. “Many health care providers now require their nurses to have a bachelor’s degree,” said Matesic. “Our BSN completion option will allow more of our trained, skilled nurses to graduate and go directly into the workforce.”

Demand for qualified nurses is also increasing, in part, because many baby boomers in the profession are retiring. FRCC’s new program—along with others around the state—will help meet that need. The BSN completion option allows registered nurses who have completed an associate degree—or students enrolled in a nursing program—to finish their Bachelor of Science degree right at FRCC.

“For too many years, prospective nurses have only had one option for a BSN: an expensive education at a university,” added Mark Longshore, chair of the nursing department at FRCC’s Larimer Campus. “By offering a BSN through Front Range Community College, our graduates—already respected for their patient care skills—will now be considered on equal footing with the university graduates for employment. That’s cost-effective quality.”

More About Dr. Matesic

Prior to her time at UCLA, Matesic worked at the Carle Foundation Hospital (CFH) in Urbana, Illinois, for sixteen years—six as director of nursing.  While at CFH, she received the Exemplary Nurse Leader of the Year Award.

In addition to nursing administration and research experience, Matesic has several years of experience as a faculty member. She taught for nine years at the University of Illinois’ College of Nursing as a full-time faculty member, where she received the “Ranked as Excellent by Students” award several times and the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence twice.

Matesic has been active in the nursing discipline throughout her career. She has been a co-principal investigator, published research articles and presented at several conferences.

Matesic has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Parkland College in Urbana, Illinois, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

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