Sep 30, 2013
Sept. 27, 2013
Program addresses Institute of Medicine's goal of helping nurses earn a BS by 2020
SALT LAKE CITY -
As a Registered Nurse for eight years working in hospice, obstetrics, operating rooms and Intensive Care Units, Alyssa Vest always had the goal of one day obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
With the help of Westminster's New RN to BS in Nursing Program, Vest's dream will now become a reality.
In the fall of 2013, Westminster introduced the new RN to BS in Nursing program to address the Institute of Medicine's: The Future of Nursing report goal of having 80 percent of RNs nationwide earn a baccalaureate degree by 2020.
"To meet the more complex demands of today's healthcare environment, the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice has recommended that at least two-thirds of the basic nurse workforce hold baccalaureate or higher degrees in nursing," said Dr. Sheryl Steadman, dean of Westminster's School of Nursing and Health Sciences. "There is ample research that indicates improved patient safety and more positive patient outcomes (including lowering mortality rates) in facilities that have more baccalaureate-prepared RNs. On an individual level, RNs who earn a BS will increase their opportunity to obtain leadership positions and continue to advance their careers."
"It has been very evident in the nursing community that having a bachelor's degree is preferred by employers," said Vest, now a student in Westminster's new program. "As the market continues to get competitive, more and more job openings are requiring a bachelor's degree."
Westminster's RN to BS in Nursing program utilizes high-tech learning tools for distance education and combines it with a handful of seminars each semester. The program offers flexibility so students can continue to work throughout the program.
"An on-line program is so convenient," added Vest. "It cuts out time spent sitting in a classroom and better allows me to continue working full-time. With a competency-based program, I can draw from my experience as a nurse and apply it to my school work."
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Registered Nurses comprise one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce as a whole, and are among the highest paying large occupations. Nearly 58 percent of RNs work in general medical and surgical hospitals, where RN salaries average around $66,000 per year.
"We believe our RN to BS in Nursing program fills a void that other programs are not offering," added Steadman. "Our program allows for greater flexibility and will help RNs build on their current skills while still being a part of the workforce. Our ultimate goal is to produce nurses with the leadership skills and competencies essential for succeeding in this constantly evolving industry."
For more information, visit http://www.westminstercollege.edu/rnbs/