Western New Mexico University’s (WNMU) first group of students to complete the traditional pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program graduated at a pinning ceremony held this week.
These graduates are already leading in their field simply by enrolling in the BSN program, fulfilling the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation that the number of nurses holding BSN degrees increase to 80 percent by 2020.
WNMU uses the New Mexico Education Consortium (NMNEC) curriculum, which prepares nurses across the state to deliver patient care. Alexis Harsh, Assistant Professor of Nursing at WNMU, explains the focus on writing intensive courses to WNMU.edu:
“This is the most comprehensive undergrad degree…Nursing school exams feature mainly application and analysis level questions. They aren’t looking for answers that you could memorize the night before the test. What you learned the first day, you have to know the last day. That’s a big change from how most of us do school.”
The nurses who graduated from the BSN program come from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of interests for their future nursing careers from pediatrics and NICU nursing to case management and behavioral health. As students, they worked clinicals at a variety of local medical centers and hospitals, averaging 12 clinical hours per week, as well as fulfilling clinical requirements in a child development center, Headstart program, and Walgreens.
This experience allowed these students to network and gain real job experiencing prior to graduating and joining the nursing workforce. The graduates will now study to take the NCLEX exam to receive their Registered Nurse license and begin practicing as nurses.
To learn more about WNMU’s first BSN nursing cohort, visit here.
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