UNMC Paves Smoother Path For Transition To Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing

by jenniferg  1/21/2015 1:51:30 PM -- 

In an effort to increase the number of registered nurses in Nebraska with bachelor’s degrees, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing will provide early, guaranteed admission in the registered nurse (RN) to the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program for qualified students enrolled in associate degree nursing (ADN) programs at the six community colleges in the state, including Northeast Community College.

LINCOLN - In an effort to increase the number of registered nurses in Nebraska with bachelor’s degrees, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing will provide early, guaranteed admission in the registered nurse (RN) to the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program for qualified students enrolled in associate degree nursing (ADN) programs at the six community colleges in the state, including Northeast Community College.

“The intent of the Nebraska RN-BSN Collaborative is to encourage seamless transfer opportunities for students and enhance communication between the institutions. The agreement also is one strategy towards Nebraska’s goal of attaining 80 percent of registered nurses with BSN degrees,” said Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing.

 “This will be a wonderful opportunity for students and will help boost the BSN pipeline in the state,” Dr. Sebastian said. “One of the most exciting things is each community college worked with our faculty to design the program in a way that will work optimally for students and strengthen opportunities for seamless progression from the associate to the baccalaureate degree.”

Dr. Sebastian said the program is streamlined and has been customized to meet the needs of registered nurses.

“Students at the community colleges still will have opportunities to apply for any UNMC nursing program of their choice, but the agreement provides a unique early entry option for students who meet the qualifications.”

Community college students approved for early admission will have completed at least one quarter of nursing coursework and have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Students will be admitted pending completion of the associate degree in nursing program and attaining their registered nursing license.

The RN to BSN program requires 20 credit hours and is delivered online. An additional 11 credits are required and are met through documentation of professional and educational accomplishments.

The program is designed to bridge the gap between the credit hours students already have taken in their associate degree programs and what they need for a BSN. Flexibility of the program enables students to finish it full time in two semesters or part-time over three years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
“This agreement was developed to provide an opportunity for the very motivated Northeast nursing student to consider moving on to the BSN degree after completion of the ADN degree,” said John Blaylock, vice president of educational services at Northeast Community College. “It reserves a seat for the student once selected. This agreement with UNMC requires the nursing student to complete a two-year associate degree nursing program and obtain licensure before beginning the BSN program. The ability for a student to have a seat reserved for him/her is a direct benefit for our nursing students as these BSN programs fill up fast and could cause delays in the transfer to a bachelors program.”

Applications will be accepted beginning in February 2015 for the semester that begins in August 2016. Guaranteed spaces will be made available at the beginning of each academic year for a select number of students.

Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for academic programs at the UNMC College of Nursing, said the RN to BSN program provides skills and knowledge in leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, best practices, patient safety and quality improvement. It also provides education in population-based care.

According to a 2012 report by the Nebraska Center for Nursing, 48 percent of the 20,434 registered nurses working in Nebraska have earned a BSN. About 51 percent of nurses in the nation have a BSN degree, Dr. Stamler said.

Nursing programming at Northeast Community College in Norfolk is conducted in the J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing. A $12.9 million fundraising campaign allowed for construction of the facility, which opened in 2010. Healthcare education provided through the J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing is the result of a collaborative partnership between Northeast Community College, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Faith Regional Health Services.

Posted In -- Announcements, Norfolk, Nursing, Press Releases, Students and Alumni

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