Nursing program encourages nurses to gain more skills

8/28/2007 7:00:00 AM

The Orvis School of Nursing RN to BSN (registered nurse to bachelor's of science) program orientation will ushered in 20 new students Monday, August 27. The program allows registered nurses with associate degrees to earn a bachelor of science degree through online classes and clinical projects with the community.
 
Designed as a two-semester, online course, the program aims to help  students enrolled in the program that are full-time nurses. The course also includes general core requirements, such as classes in the arts, math classes and Core Humanities classes. To be eligible, students must be graduates from a National League of Nursing accredited nursing school, have a 3.0 GPA and a current Nevada nursing license.

The program was designed to cover the material in general requirements and other nursing practices not included in the associate degree course, according to program coordinator, Mary Ann Lambert.
"The core classes in community college only include nursing requirements," Lambert said. "They don't cover all of the broad liberal arts base of bachelor degrees."
The program is for already registered nurses, many of whom have a great deal of experience and want to gain a broader perspective on nursing practices beyond the hospital.
The RN to BSN program emphasizes nursing research, nursing leadership and community health. These three aspects are not focused on in nursing associate degree programs, which usually focus on hospital nursing.
With the emphasis on these three points and a bachelor's degree in nursing, the students have the opportunity to pursue careers as school nurses, industrial nurses or community health nurses and focus more on illness prevention and health promotion.
 "When they add these three elements to their experience, it can open doors to broader aspects of nursing," Lambert said. "The program extends their education into other aspects that can make a difference on people's health and lives, not just with illnesses."
Many of the students have graduated with associate degrees many years ago and the beginning of the fall semester is a reintroduction into an academic world that hasn't been experienced for years. The orientation will help the students become familiarized with the computer technology involved online, as well as meeting the faculty. Because the program is an online course, many of the students may not see the other students or the faculty again.
"Most nurses are working so they are not currently taking classes," Lambert said. "They have to learn to use WebCT and meet the faculty to be successful in the program."
The RN to BSN program will certainly be around for a long time, as the demands for nurses and diverse experience continues to grow. The field of nursing services is ever evolving as well and Lambert said the program is being revised for next fall to accommodate to those changes.
"Public health is always changing and growing," Lambert said. "We try to keep up with the changes in the services where nurses are helpful in maintaining the people's health."


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