Community College in Colorado Receives Approval to Offer Four-Year BSN Degree

Community College in Colorado Receives Approval to Offer Four-Year BSN Degree

A community college in the state of Colorado has received approval to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Colorado is just the latest state to offer a four-year nursing degree at a community college to help increase the number of nurses with BSN degrees.

Julia Sayler, a nursing student in Denver, tells Denver.CBSLocal.com, “I think it’s great, because a lot of people can’t afford the four year experience. We need more younger people out there.”

Research from the Institute of Medicine shows that BSN-trained nurses have better patient outcomes, leading to a recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold a BSN degree by 2020. States across the country have begun increasing the number of community colleges that can provide a BSN degree to help the country reach that number.

According to the state of Colorado’s 2017 Talent Pipeline Report, there are 2,912 openings on average annually for nurses. In 2016, only 2,558 people graduated with nursing degrees, accounting for a difference of an additional 354 nurses that were needed. The outlook for the next decade looks even worse with a predicted shortage of 13,000 nurses by 2025 according to US Department of Health and Human Services.

The decision to offer a BSN degree at Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO, was made after state lawmakers came together to try to create more ways to get students into the nursing profession to help address the state and nationwide nursing shortage.

To learn more about Colorado’s decision to offer a four-year BSN degree at the community college level, visit here.

Orbis Education and Xavier University Celebrate Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Students

Orbis Education and Xavier University Celebrate Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Students

After launching a 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in January 2017 in partnership with Orbis Education, Xavier University recently celebrated the pinning of the first cohort of program graduates.

The ABSN program addresses the current and future nursing shortage in both the state of Ohio and nationwide. Offering college graduates with non-nursing degrees the opportunity to start a nursing career, the program delivers high-quality, clinically intensive nursing education in a short amount of time through online learning, simulation lab practicals, and clinical rotations in the greater Cincinnati area.

Dr. Lisa Long, associate director of nursing, online and hybrid program at Xavier University, tells PRNewswire.com, “We offer experienced and credentialed faculty and state-of-the-art labs and simulation experiences to our students. We put all of that, as well as an emphasis on Xavier’s Jesuit, Catholic mission of care for the person, into a package that prepares students for a successful transition into nursing.”

The ABSN program was developed in partnership with Orbis Education, a leading provider of pre-licensure healthcare programs for universities. Orbis funded the development of a high-tech learning facility which includes meeting rooms and simulation labs featuring high-fidelity manikins.
To learn more about the partnership between Orbis Education and Xavier University to create an accelerated BSN program, visit here.

Iowa State University Launches RN-to-BSN Program

Iowa State University Launches RN-to-BSN Program

Iowa State University is in the process of enrolling its first-ever class of registered nurses seeking to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The university is hopeful that the program will improve health care outcomes across the state.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a Future of Nursing Report which set a goal of having 80 percent of working nurses in the US earn their bachelor’s degrees by 2020. Less than half of Iowa nurses currently hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, but Iowa State University is hoping to increase that number.

Iowa State’s RN-BSN program will be housed in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and administered by the College of Human Sciences. 25 students are expected to join the inaugural class, but class sizes are eventually expected to grow to 50. The program will include classroom time, online courses, and practicum work in community settings. It is a program designed for working RNs and recent college graduates with an associates degree and licensure.

Program director Dr. Virginia Wangerin, clinical assistant professor and director of nursing education, tellsDesMoinesRegister.com, “We created a unique nursing program with a holistic approach to wellness… Nurses touch every patient in the health care system no matter where they are. If the nurse has a higher level of education and is prepared to see subtle early signs of complications and changes in condition, they can intervene sooner.”

To learn more about Iowa State University’s new RN-to-BSN program set to launch this coming fall, visit here.

Legislation to Address Colorado’s Nursing Shortage Signed Into Law

Legislation to Address Colorado’s Nursing Shortage Signed Into Law

Previously proposed legislation to enable 13 institutions in the Colorado state system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees was signed into law this week. The new legislation, HB18-1086 “Community College Bachelor Science Degree Nursing,” will set the stage for the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) to begin offering BSN completion programs.

CCCS System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells GlobeNewswire.com, “Colorado needs more BSN-prepared nurses, and with this legislation, CCCS will now be able to deliver them! We are ready, willing and able to respond to this workforce need, and look forward to presenting new academic offerings that will create a healthier Colorado.”

CCCS developed the legislation in response to requests from healthcare providers who expressed growing concern about the state’s looming shortage of skilled nurses. The bill received widespread support from healthcare providers, industry organizations, and elected officials. Allowing the CCCS system to offer BSN programs will expand options available to nursing students to help address the nursing shortage and improve healthcare outcomes across the state.

The state of Colorado is currently experiencing an annual shortage of 500 BSN-prepared nurses with that figure expected to grow to 4,500 nurses by 2024. Local health care providers have been forced to hire nurses from other states to help fill empty positions, increasing healthcare costs. The new legislation will help address the shortage by enabling institutions to offer four-year BSN completion degrees to nurses who want to fill empty positions but don’t have access to the additional training and education they need.

To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to address Colorado’s nursing shortage, visit here.

State of Colorado Passes New Legislation to Address Shortage of Skilled Nursing Professionals

State of Colorado Passes New Legislation to Address Shortage of Skilled Nursing Professionals

The state of Colorado recently passed new legislation enabling 13 institutions in the state’s system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The bill passed 12 to 1 in the Colorado House of Representatives Health, Insurance and Environment committee, setting a landmark example for other states looking for solutions to nursing shortages.

The new legislation seeks to address an imminent healthcare crisis in Colorado. Community colleges already teach and train high quality registered nurses, and with an acute shortage of nursing professionals with four-year degrees, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) sees this as a scalable solution to address the overwhelming shortage of bachelor-prepared nurses.

System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells GlobeNewswire.com, “We greatly appreciate having had the opportunity for a thorough and forthright discussion of the merits of this legislation. Our colleges have made significant investments in state-of-the-art equipment and simulation labs to create robust nursing programs that can be scaled to offer four-year BSN degrees. Thus, this legislation provides a cost-effective way to expand the number of BSN nursing graduates in Colorado.”

Three community college students testified in favor of the bill, all wanting to pursue BSN degrees but concerned about the cost and logistical issues of transferring to another school. This legislation is important for current nursing students and for future generations who will benefit from local and affordable programs. Nursing students come from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds, so it is also important that they have an equally diverse range of opportunities to acquire additional education and training.

To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to allow community colleges to offer four-year BSN degrees, visit here.

New York Becomes First State to Require Nurses to Obtain Bachelor’s Degrees

New York Becomes First State to Require Nurses to Obtain Bachelor’s Degrees

The Empire State recently became the first state in the nation to require nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo at the beginning of January, the bill requires that new nurses obtain a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of initial licensure. This type of legislation, commonly known as “BSN in 10,” has been pushed across the nation, but New York is the first state to actually pass a law.

The legislation takes effect immediately but the requirement that nurses obtain a baccalaureate degree or higher within 10 years of licensure will begin in 30 months. It does not affect nurses already in practice.

The drive for “BSN in 10” legislation has been largely fueled by research. Linda H. Aiken, PhD, FAAN, FRCN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has published research showing that employing more nurses with bachelor’s degrees improves patient outcomes. Her research has also found that for each 10% increase in nurses with BSN degrees, there was a 5% decline in risk-adjusted patient mortality.

The Institute of Medicine has also been a large driver for this type of nursing legislation following their 2010 report, The Future of Nursing, which recommends that 80% of nurses have at least a BSN by 2020. New York nursing programs have been in support as well, including Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. According to HealthLeadersMedia.com, Sullivan-Marx released the following statement:

“NYU has been a strong supporter of ‘BSN in 10’ legislation, given its implication for improving patient care. Research shows that patients benefit from baccalaureate-prepared nurses—in fact, several large studies show that it saves lives. Earning bachelor’s degrees also creates opportunities for career mobility and leadership among nurses.”

The bill also establishes a commission to evaluate and report on barriers to entry into the nursing profession and make recommendations on increasing availability and accessibility of nursing programs. As the first state to set “BSN in 10” legislation, New York will set an example going forward on how this type of legislation can improve patient outcomes. To learn more about New York’s “BSN in 10” law, visit here.

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