As the health care industry moves to hire registered nurses with four-year degrees, Lakeland University in Plymouth is launching an RN to BSN completion program for licensed registered nurses who have an associate degree in nursing.
Lakeland’s program features curriculum geared toward career advancement and positions nurses for supervisory and other leadership roles. Nurses with an associate degree can transfer up to 72 credits to Lakeland, and those with college-level coursework from an accredited four-year college may transfer more, cutting down the time to finish a bachelor’s degree.
Wisconsin Center for Nursing research shows that 22 percent of RNs plan to further their education in the next two years at a time when more hospitals are requiring RNs to hold a BSN. WCN research also shows that no Wisconsin region meets the goal of having 80 percent of RNs with a BSN by 2020.
“Nearly 50 percent of RNs in Wisconsin have a BSN, so it’ll be important for nurses to return to school to keep pace,” said Kerry Hamm, director of Lakeland’s nursing program. “A lot of nurses worry about going back to school because they don’t understand how they’ll have time to do the work. Lakeland’s flexibility is ideally suited for nurses who are juggling busy professional and personal schedules.”
Nurses can take courses in Lakeland’s BlendED delivery model, which allows them to select a learning option each week that works for them: attend the live class face-to-face at one of Lakeland’s seven centers; attend the class virtually from any location with an internet connection as the class streams live from the face-to-face location; or attend class 100 percent online and on-demand as the live class is recorded and uploaded to the school’s learning management system.
Lakeland’s BSN program offers five areas of emphasis: healthcare business management; system leadership and management; cultural and diversity studies; behavioral and psychiatric health; and student designed, where students can propose a 12 semester-hour emphasis in an area of academic interest.