As the demands on hospitals and medical facilities continue to increase, more employers are seeking out nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in an effort to give their patients the highest quality care and adhere to new industry recommendations. Consequently, more nurses have now decided to pursue advanced degrees in nursing. A convenient way to achieve this goal is by enrolling in an online degree program geared towards those who are already RNs. Many nurses are turning to these innovative programs for their convenience and because they provide nurses the ability to continue their work while simultaneously furthering their education and career.
Practicing registered nurses interested in earning their BSN degree online should consider the unique online degree program offered through the University of Texas at Arlington, a school named one of the “Best of the West” by Princeton Review. Of more than 100 nursing programs in Texas, UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation is ranked as one of only 9 “High Performers” (schools with 85% pass rates or higher on both their graduation and first-time licensing exam–NCLEX–rates) by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (CCNE).
UT Arlington has one of the largest nursing faculties in the United States, with impressive quality metrics for both its undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. More than 90% of students in both its traditional, on-campus Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and online BSN program graduate and successfully pass their first-time National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
The UT Arlington Academic Partnership RN to BSN Program Explained
The RN to BSN program is tailored to practicing registered nurses who already hold an associate degree or a diploma in nursing. The online program is designed to give working students the flexibility needed to log in and complete their coursework when it is most convenient for them. Additionally, students in this program are not bound to a traditional semester model so progress through the courses can be rapid. Nursing courses are presented in 5-week modules and so the program can be completed in as little as 13 months. The 2011-2012 costs per credit hour are $168 for the general courses and $257 for the nursing courses. All of the courses allow nurses to increase their knowledge to make evidence-based decisions to deliver quality patient care.
Once accepted by UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, students will be provided with a course map that takes into account specific requirements and the course schedule. Many nurses have completed earlier coursework that they can transfer in from former schools.
UT Arlington solves the problem of semester-based prerequisites by offering all general classes online. Previously completed coursework is evaluated for transfer. There is no time limit on completed courses transferred into the program.
The program uses an up-to-date blended learning approach, delivered online via the Internet. Each course includes a home page, introduction and course overview. There are clearly-stated learning objectives, links to assignments and reading lists. Nursing faculty, who are expert teachers and clinicians with current practice experience, deliver essential content for each course and focus on how this content is translated and applied to practice in a variety of clinical settings. Students transform their practice by applying the course content to their daily activities through clinically-focused assignments. Students can revisit the lectures and educational materials throughout the course period as often as they like. Many courses begin with a self-evaluation and students can track their progress using their online grade book.
Completion of General Courses–The program requires several prerequisites or general courses. Most can be taken concurrently with nursing courses. Students must complete Composition I and Composition II prior to taking the first nursing course, Professional Nursing. Technical Writing must be taken either prior to, or concurrently with, Professional Nursing. Statistics must be taken prior to Nursing Research.
Nursing Courses–After completing the above mentioned courses, every student begins the nursing program with Professional Nursing. This course is designed to facilitate the transition to a professional nursing career with an emphasis on evidence-based practice and management skills. In addition to the key Nursing Management and Leadership class, other nursing courses in the program include Holistic Care of Older Adults, Nursing Research, Health Promotion across the Lifespan, and Care of Vulnerable Populations.
Clinical Content–Clinical content is integrated into the nursing courses through application-based course assignments. These assignments are completed in the student’s workplace where their relevance is directly recognized.
Capstone–The RN to BSN program culminates with a Capstone project, which allows the student to choose one of three focus areas for concentrated study. The Capstone course is designed to combine all that a student has learned into one, practical project focused in an area of management, clinical practice or education. In this course, students synthesize what they have learned about how professional nursing practices are changing to meet the needs of patients and the trends that are impacting health care and society.
What the UT Arlington Academic Partnership RN to BSN Program Offers
Flexibility–The online format allows students the ability to learn in a way that fits into their lifestyle. With eight start dates per year, registered nurses can begin their coursework at a time of the year convenient to them. The structure of the courses allows students to complete their coursework at any time convenient to them day or night.
Reputation–UT Arlington has a respected position within the health care industry and graduates of the online UT Arlington College of Nursing are benefiting from the college’s solid reputation. The program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) so students and potential employers can have confidence that the nursing alumni have received a quality education.
Innovative Approach–UT Arlington provides an evidence-based education that allows students to put new knowledge and skills into practice immediately in their current roles. Students find their knowledge is deepened through UT Arlington’s unique modular system where courses are presented in a manner that allows students to devote their attention to one particular class at a time.
Students enrolled in UT Arlington’s Academic Partnership RN to BSN program are provided access to advisors and instructors through email and video conferencing and complete the same coursework as students in the College’s traditional classrooms.
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