Release Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Charleston, W.Va. – University of Charleston President Ed Welch today announced a new academic program beginning this spring, which will allow registered nurses (RN) to complete requirements for a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) online in as little as 18 months.
“This new RN-BSN nursing program at the University of Charleston answers an immediate need of West Virginia’s health care facilities,” said Dr. Welch. “By completing their bachelor’s degree at UC in just 18 months, and continuing to work full time, nurses are able to advance their careers and better serve patients in the field.”
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” study, in which it called for 80 percent of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce by the year 2020. According to a federal government survey cited in a New York Times article last summer (http://tinyurl.com/l75f5tz), only half of the nation’s 3 million nurses possessed a baccalaureate or doctoral degree in 2008.
“Based on the 2010-12 West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, only 31 percent of West Virginia nurses are educated at the baccalaureate level,” said new UC RN-BSN Program Coordinator Duane Napier. “No matter where nurses live or work in the state, they can attend our program completely online.”
Before arriving at UC, Napier was the executive director of the West Virginia Center for Nursing from 2006-13. A native of Huntington, W.Va., he brings an extensive nursing education background, having taught at St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College, WVU Tech, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Bellarmine University. Napier is also one of only three Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows currently located in the state of West Virginia.
RN-BSN students attending UC will have the opportunity to choose one of two tracks for their degree: Leadership or Case Management. The Case Management track is especially unique, as it will allow UC graduates to work in their organization, while learning to navigate the new Affordable Care Act.
Interested nurses should possess an unencumbered nursing license and a previous cumulative college grade point average of at least 2.50. Students will be able to transfer up to 90 credit hours into UC, meaning they may only have to complete 30 course credit hours to earn their BSN.
The University of Charleston is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.