UNMC's shortened RN to BSN degree reflects changes in health care

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | February 03, 2014

Image with caption: Louise LaFramboise

Louise LaFramboise

UNMC's College of Nursing has revised its R.N. to B.S.N. program that allows registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing in as little as nine months. The revised program, which is geared toward registered nurses with an associate's degree or diploma in nursing, better reflects the changing environment in health care.

"The program is geared for the registered nurse who wants to move to the next level to expand their knowledge and skills beyond the clinical aspects of nursing," said Louise LaFramboise, Ph.D., undergraduate program director, UNMC College of Nursing. "The program's focus is to advance skills in practice and research, population-centered care, leadership, as well as health care systems and policies. With the Affordable Care Act, there will be changes, including a heavy focus on health promotion."

The change is part of an initiative launched in 2010 to solve Nebraska's serious nursing shortage, projected to grow to nearly 4,000 nurses by 2020. The goal is to boost enrollment and graduation rates, accelerate programs, and better prepare students for an increasingly complex nursing environment.

The new curriculum reduces the required credit hours from 24 to 20, which also decreases the cost. Students can take one course at a time or complete the program in one academic year (nine months). The curriculum, which is taught by UNMC nurse faculty from across Nebraska, is delivered online with most courses available on demand, anytime, to fit the student's schedule. Some courses may occasionally require class meetings live online.

The college is accepting applications through April 1 for its fall semester which begins in August. Up to 75 students can be admitted each year.

Dr. LaFramboise said since registered nurses have clinical experience and already took many of the same required courses, the revised curriculum puts more focus on health promotion, leadership and public health.

For more information about the program, call 402-559-4110 or click here.

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