The need for nurses continues to grow, and standards are shifting toward those who hold a bachelor’s degree. The shortage is especially dire in rural communities. To help meet this need, Kansas Wesleyan University will now offer a fully online R.N. to B.S. with a major in Nursing program. The program allows nurses who already hold an unencumbered Registered Nursing license to leverage their experience to complete a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing in an accelerated study. It is designed to prepare students for professional advancement.
“Obtaining a bachelor’s degree will open the door for nurses with an associate degree or diploma to advance to leadership positions,” Janeane Houchin, director of Nursing Education, said. “R.N. to B.S. students, who are often working and raising families, will have the convenience of a flexible online program, while still working with Kansas Wesleyan’s high-quality nursing education faculty.”
The program will begin in January 2018, but students will have the option of taking online pre-requisite courses in the fall. Classes begin Aug. 22.
The program consists of a minimum of nine courses offered in eight-week sessions. If applicants have maximum transfer credits, the program can be completed in one calendar year of full-time study and costs under $14,000. The tuition rate is guaranteed for two years. Students will be able to apply for up to 35 credit hours of experiential credit toward their degree. This allows nurses who have been working in the field to benefit from that experience.
New Nursing Degree Focuses on Community
Kansas Wesleyan is transitioning from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to the Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing. The university will now offer two tracks — a four-year program for pre-licensure students and a one-year program for those who have their Registered Nursing license.
The B.S. with a major in Nursing is the result of a careful analysis and revitalization of the Nursing curriculum at KWU. The new degree will be community-focused with required courses such as Community Health Nursing and Personal, Community and Global Health.
“We believe it is part of our missional responsibility to offer a Nursing program to help meet the needs of the community,” KWU President Matt Thompson said. “The most recent site visit from the Kansas State Board of Nursing was extremely positive.”
The university has submitted formal application to the Commission on Colligate Nursing Education (CCNE) for accrediting the B.S. with a major in Nursing, both online and on-ground.
“This will be a new program CCNE will review. Since we met all requirements except historical pass rates on the review of the B.S.N., we are in an excellent position to be accredited with the B.S. with a major in Nursing as pass rates aren’t a factor with new programs,” Thompson said.
CCNE will visit next spring. If the program is approved, KWU will receive notification in the fall. The B.S. with a major in Nursing program will offer the same level of nursing skill for graduates as a B.S.N.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing website states, “Depending on the nursing school you attend, graduates of the baccalaureate program may receive a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or a BS in Nursing degree. Please note that there is no substantive difference in the degrees offered. The degree title used is purely an institutional decision and does not connote differences between BSN and BS programs in nursing.”
KWU will welcome 18 pre-nursing students to its program in fall 2017.