School of Nursing launches online RN-to-BSN program

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Lipscomb University’s School of Nursing has launched an RN-to-BSN program, university officials recently announced.

Nursing_RN_1The RN-to-BSN program, housed in Lipscomb’s School of Nursing within the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, is fully online and designed to help equip and empower Registered Nurses with an Associate Degree desiring to advance their career. The RN-to-BSN program may be completed online in as few as 18 months.

“Numerous studies show the importance of a four-year nursing degree not only for the health care professional to pursue leadership and management responsibilities, but also to provide better care to patients,” said Roger L. Davis, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “Lipscomb has a successful track record for preparing nurses who are making a tremendous impact. Offering this new pathway for working nurse professionals to complete a four-year degree is a way for Lipscomb to meet the needs of the health care industry while serving the community as well.”

Davis said the program is also a good fit for students who have completed an associate degree at a local community college through the Tennessee Promise program.

Lipscomb’s RN-to-BSN program holds initial approval status from the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is pending accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The program will soon be accepting applications for its first cohort of students to begin in August 2018. The cost is $525 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable online programs offered by a private institution in the region.

In addition to the intentional integration of a Biblical view throughout the curriculum, Lipscomb’s program is also unique in that it offers students the opportunity to earn up to 27 credit hours for demonstration of knowledge and skills already mastered. The School of Nursing has partnered with Lipscomb’s College of Professional Studies and intentionally integrated key leadership competencies into the curriculum that are essential for success in the workplace.  Students enrolling in the RN-to-BSN program may have already mastered some of the skills either through prior learning and/or experience.  Therefore, during the orientation to Lipscomb’s RN-to-BSN Program, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate such competencies through a professional assessment simulation mirroring a day in the workplace. Lipscomb’s program is one of the first in the nation to integrate this type of leadership component into an RN-to-BSN curriculum.

“Many registered nurses with two-year degrees have been in the workforce, providing very skilled, compassionate care to their patients,” said Chelsia Harris, associate director of nursing for degree development at Lipscomb. “In developing this program, we have researched and examined what patients, organizations and health care facilities need and desire at the bedside … and that’s a compassionate nurse who can critically think, clinically reason, conflict manage and problem solve as well as maintain their drive and energy. This program will not only provide nurses with the professional edge needed to excel in the workplace, but also equip them in preventing burnout and compassion fatigue, two serious issues crippling health care today.”

Harris said the benefits of a four-year nursing degree are significant for nurses as well as their patients.

Nursing_RN_2“Research links improved patient outcomes, decreased medication errors and lower mortality rates to nurses educated at the baccalaureate level,” said Harris. “Nurses at the associate degree level are wonderful clinicians. However, there is a gap between an associate degree RN and a RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. BSN nurses are trained to be critical thinkers, to lead, design, and manage patient care. They’re not just doers. They can think at the bedside and make sound clinical decisions that are best for patients and outcomes.

In addition, BSN curriculum advances the ASN nurse to think and practice at the baccalaureate level, equips them to address issues in community and population health, teaches them to responsibly consume and conduct research and integrate evidence-based practice into their routines, as well as positions them to become leaders in the profession of nursing, said Harris.

Many health care providers and hospitals are requiring nurses to have a four-year college degree.  In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the United States nurses have a BSN by 2020. According to the AACN, many hospitals and other medical facilities are following the IOM guidelines and strongly encouraging ASN-prepared RNs to earn their BSN within five years of graduation. Also, according to NursingJournal.org more hospitals are seeking the American Nurses Association’s “magnet” designation, which requires that 100 percent of nurse managers and 48 percent of nurses have a BSN or higher.

Harris said the RN-to-BSN program is a natural extension of the School of Nursing’s current offerings.

“Lipscomb University’s School of Nursing has so much to offer. Our new program is not only a response to what organizations and patients need, it’s also what the students need,” said Harris. “It offers them an affordable, accessible, innovative type of education. Our program is realistic and fits the lifestyle of the working professional. Graduates will leave prepared not only to be nurse generalists at the bedside, but they will be a step ahead of the game positioned to be leaders, designers and managers of care.”

Nursing_RN_3Want to know more about Lipscomb’s new RN-to-BSN program? Visit, https://www.lipscomb.edu/nursing/undergraduate-programs/rn-to-bsn or contact Shelby Lankford at lankfordsr@lipscomb.edu or 615-966-5781.

Lipscomb University’s School of Nursing provides a state-of-the-art nursing education while providing each student with individual support and guidance that enables them to become the best nurse possible.

The school offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for traditional undergraduate students and transfers. Students have the opportunity to “practice before they practice” in an on-campus facility that includes a state-of-the-art, high fidelity patient simulation lab.

In the Health Sciences Simulation Laboratory, students experience health conditions covering the entire lifespan from premature babies to the elderly. Twenty-three computerized patient simulators provide realistic health scenarios and respond to a student’s interventions. Student nurses are also trained in bedside health care informatics and in the use of medical equipment. The lab is equipped to be able to triage real patients in the event of a crisis.

Another hallmark of Lipscomb’s nursing program is teaching Christ-centered nursing care that includes opportunities for students to participate in medical mission trips and international educational experiences.

Student nurses learn from faculty who are highly trained in all clinical and specialty areas, who also serve as academic advisors and mentors, looking out for the individual needs and goals of each student. With Lipscomb’s location in Nashville, the health care capital of the nation, students complete nurse preceptorships and residency programs at some of the country’s top medical institutions.

Lipscomb’s School of Nursing is recognized by the industry’s most demanding organizations and regulators as top quality. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and has received multiple superior ratings from the Tennessee Board of Nursing at its regular site visits. The program’s 2017 graduates have a 95.3 percent pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam and 100 percent job placement.

For more information about Lipscomb’s School of Nursing, visit nursing.lipscomb.edu.