Argosy University, Phoenix is launching a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program designed for licensed registered nurses (RNs) who have earned their associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing. The new program was created partly in response to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the nursing industry is becoming more competitive as demand for quality healthcare increases and statistics showing RNs with a BSN degree have better job prospects.
Argosy’s new BSN program builds on pre-licensure nursing coursework to prepare students for professional advancement while meeting recommendations from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) that a BSN is the primary pathway to professional nursing. Further guidelines from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) outlines two specific goals for the field of nursing by 2020: an 80-percent baccalaureate-prepared nursing workforce and a doubling of doctorates held by nurses.
Diann DeWitt, PhD, RN, CNE, chair of the nursing program at Argosy University, Phoenix, told PRNewswire.com,
“There is a need for bachelor’s degree nursing programs to help both nurses and hospitals in the state of Arizona. By focusing on courses geared towards building the necessary skills professional nurses require, graduates will be better prepared to advance their careers in nursing and meet the growing demand for qualified healthcare professionals.”
Nursing courses at Argosy University, Phoenix will be delivered in blended format, combining online and on-campus experiences. Classes will be held on campus one day per week to provide flexibility to working nurses. The university will also partner with local hospitals and agencies to offer cohort classes for students to gain skills tailored to the needs of specific nursing and healthcare organizations.
Meet our Nurse of the Week, Melanie Ryan, a critical care nurse whose career caring for young patients in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units encouraged her son to follow in her path, pursuing a nursing degree from Arizona State University (ASU) and a life devoted to helping others.
After coming across Melanie’s story, we were compelled to share her journey in nursing with the DailyNurse community. Like so many others, her path to nursing was not a direct one. She began her education as an engineering student and later changed course in an effort to cope with her sister’s death in a tragic car accident. Rather than let tragedy paralyze her, Melanie chose to use it as a springboard to her path in nursing, and a love for her work has kept her going as she realized that a life devoted to helping others was what she was born to do. It takes a special kind of nurse to care for the most vulnerable patients of all, and a special kind of mother to inspire her son to follow in her footsteps.
Thank you, Melanie, for your inspiring work as a critical care nurse who strives daily to make a difference in the lives of young patients and their families.
To learn more about Melanie’s nursing journey, visit ASU Now.
To address the nursing shortage in Arizona, the University of Arizona (UA) College of Nursing created an accelerated master’s program for people who hold university degrees in other fields. The only program of its kind offered in Arizona, it is 15 months long and offered in both Tucson and Phoenix. Reaching a record number of students, the Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) program enrolled 113 students last May, up from 98 students the previous year.
Nursing shortages are occurring nationwide due to increased healthcare demands and working nurses aging out of the profession. UA’s nursing program hopes to continue expanding to help fill the nursing workforce as well as facilitate students looking for a great profession. In addition to accepting more students into the accelerated master’s program, admissions to the program also increased this year from 220 to 260.
The MEPN might even be more appealing to some students because it is less selective than UA’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. So far, the program has enrolled students with a wide range of degrees from neuroscience to fashion design, with many students having held long professional careers before acceptance into the master’s nursing program. These older and more experienced students have a lot to bring to the table; their maturity and professionalism often translates well into nursing.
Students choose to make a career switch to nursing for a variety reasons, many of them being attracted to the stability that nursing offers or looking for a more fulfilling career path. The program is not easy, squeezing four and a half years of nursing curriculum and training into 15 months, and requiring students to complete 1,000 clinical hours. The program doesn’t remove any curriculum from the education that bachelor’s students receive, so students and educators are forced to operate in double time.
Most MEPN students don’t have time for outside jobs with their tight schedules of classes, labs, and coursework; however, the program does offer flexibility because students pursue a nursing career in an expedited way. This also allows for a more diverse student population like first-generation students who are working to support their families. The UA College of Nursing and the university’s department for Diversity and Inclusion are proud to train students to serve in diverse communities where medical needs are more profound. There aren’t enough nurses currently in the field to serve diverse communities in Arizona so it’s important to facilitate that need through this program.