Arizona State University (ASU) has implemented a new strategy for tackling the challenge of getting more nurses to complete their bachelor’s degree. In Arizona, 28 percent of adults aged 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree, compared with a nationwide percentage of 30 according to the US Census Bureau. Combined with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80 percent of registered nurses hold bachelor’s degrees by 2020, ASU wants to help more nurses receive their BSN.
The most popular way to pay a reduced tuition rate is by transferring from a community college. In 2016, ASU saw the number of transfer enrollments more than double compared to the prior decade. There was a 124 percent increase from 2007-08 to 2016-17 according to ASUNow.edu. Now ASU is working closely with community colleges to make transferring as simple as possible.
ASU has set up a transfer agreement with the local Maricopa community colleges called Maricopa-ASU Pathways Programs (MAPP). The program specifies which courses are needed for each major so students can avoid wasting time and money on classes that don’t apply to their degree choice. Students who meet the requirements of the transfer program are guaranteed admission to ASU and get help from ASU advisers while still in community college.
Dimi Wassef, an ASU community college transfer student, tells ASUNow.edu, “In our culture, there’s this idea that right after high school you have to go to a university and move away, but the community colleges offer a good transition and prepares you. It’s a more approachable setting than throwing yourself into a very complicated university setting, where you don’t use all the resources if you don’t know about them.”
There are several other ways that students can earn a four-year nursing degree from ASU including rural partnership programs and fast-track degree options. To learn more about ASU’s community college transfer program to reduce tuition for nursing students, visit here.
Samantha Calvin, Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation Assistant Professor, recently spoke at the 14th Annual Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference held in Ohio. Calvin also teaches an innovate new course at ASU called “Fundamentals of Human Trafficking” which is one of the only courses on human trafficking available in a nursing school.
The conference is intended to bring together researchers, service providers, politicians, advocates, and students from across the globe to learn from each together and work toward finding real-world solutions to this problem. Calvin’s presentation focused on human trafficking in the clinic setting, red flags to look for, questions to ask, and what to do if someone is identified.
“What we’re finding is that health professionals do not feel comfortable identifying and treating someone who has been human trafficked.”
Calvin tells ASUNow.edu, “What we’re finding is that health professionals do not feel comfortable identifying and treating someone who has been human trafficked.” Her research is focused on female adolescent sex trafficking which she uses as course content for the human trafficking course she teaches in the nursing school.
Many schools of social work offer courses on human trafficking, but Calvin is advocating for the importance of knowing how to identify and treat human trafficking patients in a clinical setting. Calvin tells ASUNow.edu, “Even though a lot of these victims seek medical care they are not being identified and end up remaining in the cycle of human trafficking.”
Calvin hopes that sharing her research with other nursing schools across the country will help show the importance of her course at ASU and encourage other schools to add similar courses to their nursing curriculums.
To learn more about Calvin’s research and nursing course on human trafficking, visit here.
With a critical shortage of nurses predicted by 2025, a nationwide initiative began encouraging nurses with associate degrees to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020. The shortage is expected to hit the state of Arizona particularly hard, which led Northern Arizona University (NAU) to find new ways to combat this issue. As a solution to the expected nursing shortage, NAU created a Personalized Learning program, an online competency-based program that allows students to work and progress at their own rate. The program is designed to fit into the schedules of working professionals, with a learning platform centered around real-world career knowledge to build on already mastered experiences.
Laura Blank, associate clinical professor and faculty mentor in the NAU School of Nursing, tells News.NAU.edu, “Arizona is predicted to take the biggest hit with 28,100 fewer nurses than necessary. One reason for this shortage is lack of nursing faculty.”
This degree became the perfect option for Danielle Cox, a charge nurse who already had 5 years of working experience in the field. Cox’s family attended NAU and she wanted to follow in their footsteps by going back to nursing school there but her 12-hour graveyard shifts in the ICU at Flagstaff Medical Center made it impossible for her to earn a BSN without quitting her full-time job.
She began looking for other ways to obtain her degree and found NAU’s Personalized Learning program. Cox explains how it became the perfect program her for: “I was able to work my stretch of night shifts and then dedicate my days off to school. Having no deadlines or due dates made going to school while working simple.” She also just became the first Personalized Learning student to graduate from the RN-to-BSN program this semester after completing the 33 credits she needed for her degree in less than six months. Now she plans to pursue her master’s degree in nursing and possibly start teaching.
Thanks to NAU’s Personalized Learning program, Arizona is now one step closer to combatting the shortage of nurses expected to soon hit the state. To learn more about the program, visit here.
Our Nurses of the Week are the nursing students from Northern Arizona University (NAU) who donate their time on an annual mission trip to Guatemala to treat women with cervical cancer and provide health screenings and education to as many Guatemalans as possible.
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in Guatemala, taking the lives of over 1,400 Mayan women per year. The disease is treatable when detected early, but women in the developing country don’t receive the regular checkups and treatment they need for early diagnosis. 31 percent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the US die each year, compared with 48 percent in Guatemala – quite a jump.
Dorothy Dunn, an assistant professor in the Northern Arizona University School of Nursing, became interested in Latin America while taking history classes as an undergrad. Gaining a passion for global outreach, she decided to find out why a curable cancer is killing so many Mayan women. Dunn tells News.NAU.edu,
“Because Guatemala is a low-resource country, women lack the regular checkups and treatment they need, resulting in a very late-stage cancer diagnosis. They are then placed on a waiting list of more than 2,000 people in hopes of living long enough to receive radiation treatment – most of whom don’t.”
This led Dunn to the Center for International Education, where she established an international study abroad program providing NAU nursing students with the opportunity to treat Mayan women through a partnership with the Guatemalan-based nonprofit, Nursing Heart Inc. NAU’s program is unique from other international programs in that a group of students returns to the same town and same people every year, providing them with annual ‘check-ups’ and checking on their patients’ progress.
Students from NAU have been traveling with Dunn annually to Santa Maria de Jesus since 2013 where over 500 people flock each year to receive treatment. They focus on women’s health care, spending the first three days providing Mayan women with cervical cancer screenings. It’s a program everyone benefits from as the women get treatment they don’t otherwise receive and students get hands-on experience and the chance to save lives.
Guatemala has also seen an influx in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. For many of the country’s poorer families, low-nutrient, high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-salt processed foods are all that are affordable. These diseases are often manageable in developed countries, but without adequate healthcare funding and access to medications, these diseases are causing even more early deaths in Guatemalans. Hoping to provide Guatemalans with preventative measures they can implement into their daily lives, Dunn and her students spend the fourth day at the clinic providing patient education.
To learn more about NAU’s Guatemalan study abroad program and Dunn’s involvement in founding and continuing its mission, visit here.
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.