As the pandemic highlights the nation’s nursing shortage, new schools are opening in an attempt to close the gap. One new educational opportunity for aspiring BSNs and LPNs in 2021 is the Herzing University Tampa campus.
To learn more about Herzing University’s essay in Tampa, DailyNurse spoke to Jeff Cross, president of both the Tampa and Orlando campuses.
DailyNurse: Why did you decide to open a campus in Tampa, and why now?
Jeff Cross: “We’re bringing our proven nursing education approach to Tampa because there is such a strong need for registered nurses across the region. Herzing University has been educating nursing students in the Orlando area since 2006 and we understand the unique needs of the Florida population. We have strong clinical and community relationships throughout central Florida and we’re excited to be a part of the Tampa healthcare community.”
DN: What is the Herzing philosophy of nursing and/or your approach to nurse education?
Cross: “Herzing University uses a combination of adaptive learning for general education, simulation learning once students enter core nursing classes and high-quality, diverse clinical experiences for hands-on training and interaction with actual patients. This combination results in students who have the confidence and skills needed to be a well-prepared nurse the day they graduate. Beyond ensuring each student has the necessary skills and knowledge, Herzing has a philanthropic component built into its curriculum. Each student must complete a certain number of clinical hours (varies by program) in a community services capacity, which could include providing health and wellness checks at a homeless shelter, administering flu shots at a free clinic, or many other opportunities. We are excited about the opportunity to give back to the Tampa area community.”
DN: What are the most salient points of your plan to keep students safe when you open?
Cross: “Herzing takes student safety seriously and we have rigorous plans in place to ensure the health of the students, faculty, and staff. We practice S.A.F.E. education through the following procedures: Screening, Access, Face Coverings, and Enhanced safety measures. Anyone entering the campus is required to complete health screenings and temperature checks. As of now, access to the campus is for students who choose to come in person for labs and skills checks, but we will continue to monitor the situation and follow state guidelines. Everyone must always wear a mask and gloves are required in labs, which we provide to students. We are also practicing social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols.”
DN: Do you expect to offer in-person classes, or a combination of in-person and online teaching?
Cross: “Students will begin coursework 100% online. Students may visit the campus on a limited basis for skills check-ins with instructors or to use the simulation learning labs. We also offer virtual simulation capabilities that allow students to practice skills work in a virtual environment from their home or any location. Herzing is committed to following the guidance provided by local and state agencies as it relates to the latest COVID-19 recommendations and adjusting policies when it’s safe to do so.”
DN: Have you made plans to accommodate students’ need for clinicals time during the pandemic? Are your local healthcare partners going to allow students to work with patients?
Cross: “We are very excited to offer students virtual simulation options to complete the clinical components of their coursework. Core nursing classes will begin in the fall, so students wouldn’t reach the clinical part of their program until late 2021. The coronavirus situation is changing rapidly, so it is difficult to say exactly what a student would be doing by this time next year. However, virtual simulation has been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing as an option for students to complete their clinical experiences. We will continue to make adjustments as needed to ensure our students are able to complete all components of their nursing program without delay.”
DN: Do you have any advice for students who want to become LPNs, or for nurses who want to work toward their BSN at this time?
Cross: “Your community needs you now more than ever before! We can help you achieve your nursing credential goal in a safe way, so please don’t let the coronavirus deter you. We provide year-round instruction so you can enter the workforce as soon as possible, pending licensure, and we also offer a number of pathways and bridge program options that provide degree credits for prior training, education and work experience.”
Jeff Cross is the president of Herzing University’s Tampa and Orlando campuses. He can be reached at email@example.com.The Tampa campus is currently accepting applications. To find out more about the accredited nursing programs offered at Herzing University-Tampa, visit the school website or call 813-285-5281 to speak with an admissions advisor.
Heading back to nursing school can be tough for any student. But suppose you’ve been in the workforce for a while and have decided that you want to continue your education. If your next step is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, how can you attain the most success in a BSN program?
Valerie C. Sauda, PhD, RN-BC, CNE, MGSF, Chief Nurse Administrator/Undergraduate Director, Husson University School of Nursing, answered our questions on this.
First, how would you describe a post-traditional student who would be working on a BSN? Would these be working nurses who earned AA degrees? Please explain.
A post-traditional student is a student who enters a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at any point in their academic career, but who may have transfer credits or life experiences that give them time to pursue the BSN degree.
What are the most important things for them to keep in mind when they are pursuing BSN degrees? What will be their biggest challenges and how can they overcome them?
When pursuing a BSN degree, you should consider the following:
Time. Are you able to have a work and personal schedule that will allow you to study from 3-4 hours daily? Do you have flexibility to adjust your work schedule to meet the demands of clinical and simulation hours for the program that you are interested in? Would you be able to work part-time and extra hours during college breaks to limit the number of hours that you are working while you are in classes? Most BSN programs require a full-time commitment, although there are some innovative programs across the country designed for working nursing students to pursue the BSN degree.
Personal support network. Do you have a personal support network of family and friends who can help you with groceries, laundry, or babysitting (if you have children) so you can study or participate in class, labs, or clinicals?
Financial resources. This is probably the number one issue of concern for most nursing students pursing their BSN! Be sure that you maximize your financial aid resources through the college or university’s Financial Aid office, and look for scholarships and grants can really make a difference in your ability to be successful in the BSN program of your choice.
Organizational skills. Having a good sense of organization and making sure that you can create a daily and weekly to do list and stick to it, can really be beneficial as you start a BSN program.
If they need help, whom should they ask?
Colleges and BSN programs across the country are well-equipped to help with navigating the college environment. Each program is connected to a financial aid department that can help with financial resources. Campuses also have an office of advising or student success where you can get assistance in mapping out a plan for success as you enter the BSN program. The School of Nursing itself also offers support through web-based chats or email in addition to open houses. Asking for help is essential for your success in a BSN program!
What are the best tips you would give for how they can remain successful while earning this degree?
Here are my top three tips for success. First, study hard. Use tutors, online course study resources, extra lab practice times, and faculty support to help you focus and reinforce your study. Second, be kind to yourself. Nursing school is challenging and balancing your work habits with your personal life is essential. Finally, take care of yourself. Stay healthy by eating right, exercising, sleeping, and pacing your work. These can really make a difference in your success.
What if they find that they are overwhelmed balancing work, school, and family? What should they do?
Most nursing students experience some feelings of being overwhelmed at some point in the nursing program.If you are feeling overwhelmed, speak with your academic nursing advisor or use counseling or student success services on the campus. Often, a little outside assistance can help you gain the support you need to reorganize and stay on track.
If other nurses want to help these types of students (if they work with them), what would you recommend they do?
Offer tutoring support and give kind words of encouragement. Each nurse has experienced the demands of a nursing program and can probably share stories of failure as well as success. Other nurses can also give students the motivation and grit they need to carry forward with the program. Be a mentor!
Is there anything else you think is important for our readers to know?
Before entering a BSN program, be honest with yourself about the amount of time it will take to successfully complete this degree and understand how it will potentially affect your personal and work life. Wanting to be a nurse is an important first step. After that, potential BSN students need to carefully analyze whether this is the best time for them to enter a BSN program. Exploring your options and making sure that you have a full understanding of the program you’re entering, will help you better plan for your ultimate success in a BSN program.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt life and studies on college campuses, enrolling in an online nursing program is probably an increasingly attractive option. If you are pursuing a career in nursing, understanding the differences between online nursing schools and campus-based ones will make it easier for you to decide. Here are four things you should consider at the outset:
1. Technology Has Come a Long Way
In the past, only a certain portion of nursing school curriculum could be taught online. The reason for this was because of limited technology. Nurses would still need to be involved in various labs to get the practicum necessary to graduate.
As schools around the country have enhanced their technology, it makes it easier to attend a school of nursing completely online. It offers an immersive curriculum in order for students to understand the various topics.
Particularly within the past decade, web-based teaching has increased considerably. It allows teachers to answer questions live and allow students to work with one another in team settings. This is being seen not only in nursing schools but throughout all of higher education.
Even students who did not grow up learning on computers have found that they are able to embrace online learning. Nursing systems, specifically, provide online tutorials, use 3D images, and other enhanced programming in order to make up for what would traditionally be lost from a face-to-face classroom environment.
2. What Nursing Lab Options Would Work Best for You?
Throughout nursing school, labs are a significant component involved in teaching. It allows students to understand how they will need to work with doctors and patients in order to perform on the job daily.
In a classroom, students will have the ability to simulate real-life situations. They can “act” as a nurse in order to perform the necessary activities. Whether it’s to draw blood, conduct the lab on a patient, or save a life, they will have the ability to walk through the various steps in person.
Online, simulation labs are available. There are plenty of universities getting creative with how they are going to train students filming various scenarios and using ambulance and flight simulators can make it easier for students online to feel as though they are in the moment. It enables students to think about their approach, communicate, and take action.
Although some of the virtual clinical simulation labs are a culture shock, it allows online students to get the same level of education as those who are in the classroom.
Additionally, some schools provide the opportunity for both in-person and online courses. This would allow you to take some of the lecture courses online while still being able to go into the classroom for the labs. It comes down to deciding what you are most comfortable with – and what a particular school offers.
3. Looking for On-Campus Experience, or Convenience?
Online nursing schools offer a significant amount of convenience. It allows you to get the education you want without having to consider the distance to the nearest campus. As long as you have access to WiFi, you have the ability to attend your classes.
Some classes allow you the added convenience of being able to log in at any time within a 24-hour period to listen to the lectures. You can work the assignments on a schedule that works for all that you have going on in your life. Other classes, however, may require that you log in at a certain day and time.
Beyond the location of the school and the timeframes, you also have the benefit of being able to work in a more independent environment. More specifically, for adults that are considering going back to school, many prefer an online environment once they become familiar with the technology. It can boost confidence as they don’t have to worry about having their age being questioned while sitting in a class with students half their age.
4. What are Your Learning and Career Goals?
Everyone has the opportunity to choose the type of nursing school program that works best for them. When you decide that you want to become a nurse, you will need to find a certified program that allows you to work within the environment you feel the most comfortable in.
While online programs provide a significant amount of versatility and convenience, some people prefer to interact face-to-face with the professors and their fellow students.
As you explore the different programs, you will want to look at the intensity of the simulation labs. Ask questions about the technology used to ensure that you get the level of education that you deserve. Once you graduate from a program, whether it is online or in-person, you will be expected to have a full understanding of the curriculum you have been taught. As such, if you are going to engage in online labs, it needs to be on a level where you can translate that information to doing it in person.
Regardless of what you decide in terms of the type of class, you’re given the same curriculum. Further, you have to decide on the kind of RN you wish to be. Nursing schools will give you access to courses that focus on various specialties:
With over 100 specialties out there, you can focus on simply being educated as an RN or decide to dive into one of the specialties. You can always cross-train between some of the specialties, too. As you become more familiar with the options, you can work on customizing your curriculum to ensure you get the right education for the type of nurse you are passionate about becoming.
Evaluate Your Priorities and Explore Your Opportunities
Don’t be afraid to explore the opportunities that are provided to you by a college or university, whether it is online or not. Ensure it is going to support your career goals.
As long as you can pass the NXLEX-RN exam to prove that you have met the requirements to work as a nurse in the US and you have passed an English language competency exam, you have the ability to work all across the United States.
The first step is deciding that you want to be a nurse. You don’t have to attend and graduate from an Ivy League college that is not only far away but also expensive. You simply have to obtain the necessary education to become a registered nurse – and there are plenty of opportunities out there.
The choice is yours. Attend online or in person. Online nursing programs have evolved dramatically over the past few years, allowing you to get a comprehensive education in a way that is convenient (and affordable) for you.
To help meet the growing demand for RNs, Iona College in New York is about to join the ranks of schools offering a BSN program. This fall, Iona will provide students with two routes to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree: one option is to embark on a traditional 4-year undergraduate program with a core liberal arts curriculum, while students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field will be able to take an accelerated, 15-month second-degree program.
In announcing the launch of the new program, Iona College president Seamus Carey remarked, “As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses truly are heroes – and the world needs more of them. In keeping with the mission and values of an Iona education, the nursing curriculum will prepare nurses who can both initiate and adapt to change, serve patients with compassion while demonstrating critical thinking in health care innovation, engage in bold leadership and advocacy, and seek knowledge wherever it presents itself in pursuit of a global culture of health.”
Darrell P. Wheeler, Iona’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs added, “Iona College is committed to and well positioned to offer a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary nursing program that will prepare students to meet the challenges of health care delivery and leadership in today’s and tomorrow’s complex health care system. Being in New Rochelle, just five miles outside of New York City in Westchester County, our students will have hands-on experience in some of the nation’s top facilities. We cannot wait to welcome our first class of exceptional students this fall.”
Located some 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan, Iona College is a Catholic, coeducational institution with a total enrollment of about 4,000 students. The new BSN program, under the direction of Susan Apold, Ph.D., RN, ANP-BC, GNP, FAAN, FAANP, is designed to take advantage of the school’s proximity to New York City and will provide students with clinical opportunities at leading hospitals in the Metropolitan area. For full details on the new program, visit the Iona College BSN page.
The George Washington University School of Nursing has just received the largest philanthropic gift in the school’s history. Through the William and Joanne Conway Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative, $2.5 million in financial aid is being made available to help eligible military veterans working toward a BSN degree. The gift is expected to support more than 65 students over the next five years.
Donors William Conway, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, and his wife Joanne are long-time supporters of nursing education. School of Nursing Dean Pamela Jeffries commented, “The Conways’ commitment to our military veterans is unwavering, and so is ours at the GW School of Nursing. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it’s gifts like these that enable us to grow our veteran student population and provide the resources they need to succeed.”
The aid program will be welcomed by veterans. Despite the assistance available through military benefits such as the GI Bill, many vets still find it a challenge to support themselves and their families when they re-enter the civilian world and attempt to pursue a degree. The Conways are happy to offer a helping hand. “The Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative is designed to reward the brave men and women of our armed forces who seek to continue their service to our country as civilian nurses,” Mr. Conway stated. GWU President Thomas LeBlanc responded, “We are grateful to the Conways for enabling this investment when our nation’s nursing workforce and veterans need it most.”
Founded 10 years ago, the George Washington University School of Nursing is currently the sixth ranked school in the US News and World Report assessment of online graduate nursing programs. The gift was presented in May, while the school was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
For further details on this story, visit GWToday at the University website.
Prompted by the World Health Organization initiative to have 80% of
nurses possess a bachelor’s degree by 2020, in fall 2020, Salish
Kootenai College will become the first tribal college
to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Located in Montana,
Salish Kootenai College serves the Confederated Salish and Kootenai
Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, a federally recognized tribe.
A major consideration in making this transition, according to nursing
program director Lisa Harmon, is that a BSN is swiftly becoming an
entry-level requirement for nurses. Harmon notes that a BSN will also
open up more opportunities for graduating students, as both privately
owned facilities as well as federal agencies such as the Indian
Health Services (IHS) require a bachelor’s degree from all nursing
applicants. For graduates of the Salish Kootenai program, which is
designed to prepare Native American nurses for professional practice
and leadership in rural and tribal communities, the prospect of
working for the IHS is a particularly strong consideration as
students often choose to work within their home reservation, where
IHS is a significant source of nursing opportunities.
Harmon says, “We
want to be doing the right thing for our Native American graduate
nurses and have them be able to work in these IHS facilities. Or
wherever anybody wants to go, it just gives so much more employment
While the college
offers an “RN to BSN” option, Harmon notes that many federal
programs will only subsidize a first degree, and adds, “As the
student loan crisis ramps up, which yes the United States has a
student loan crisis, there’s just more restrictions. And (the RN to
BSN program) just wasn’t doing our students any good. So then they
couldn’t finish their bachelor’s because they didn’t qualify
anymore for student loans. Now we are offering this four-year degree
which will be better all around, for financial aid and scholarships.”
Of the new BSN
program, which is two years in the making, Harmon remarks, “We are
just excited that we are offering what students need,” Harmon said.
“We’ll be the first tribal college in the United States to offer
this four-year BSN. I feel really good about it. I feel like it’s
the right thing to do.”
For more details
on the Salish Kootenai College BSN, program, visit here.