LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is now accepting applications for its new online RN to BSN completion program. This program answers the call of many registered nurses with either an associate degree or a diploma who wish to further their education and complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The LHU Department of Nursing received approval on July 16 from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors to begin offering the RN to BSN completion program. Lock Haven University’s associate degree program in nursing, which had its first graduating class in 1992, will be an automatic feeder into the RN to BSN completion.
Kim Owens, Chair of the LHU Nursing Department, said, “The interest in such a program at Lock Haven University has been overwhelming, both from our current students, alumni, and other area RNs. Students often like to stay with the university close to home (even though online) and stay with a university they have come to know and trust” says Ms. Owens.
Tom Ormond, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said “The online delivery of the LHU program provides maximum convenience. It breaks down the barriers of time and distance.” He explained, “The LHU degree-completion program enables nurses to complete their baccalaureate degrees while still meeting the demands of their work schedules and family obligations.”
The LHU RN to BSN program is designed to build on the student’s knowledge and experience as a registered nurse, enhancing skills in critical thinking, case management and leadership roles, all of which will expand career options. Published research suggests that patient outcomes are improved with an increase in the presence of baccalaureate-prepared nurses.
The LHU program helps meet the increasing demand for RN to BSN programs. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2008), from 2006 to 2007, enrollment in RN to BSN programs increased by 11.5%. This was the fifth year of enrollment increase for these degree completion programs. However, not all qualified applicants are being accepted because programs are constrained by lack of faculty and the necessary instructional resources.
Recent research indicates that the U.S. nursing shortage is expected to grow in the next decade as RNs over age 50 retire. This means that the need for nurse educators will also grow. “We need nurse educators to teach nursing students,” said Owens, “so that we can continue to address the nationwide shortage of nurses.”
Completion of a BSN program is the first step in the preparation required to become a nursing educator. “Increasing enrollment in baccalaureate programs is a key first step to addressing the nation’s diminishing supply of nurse educators,” said AACN President, Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN.
Applicants must presently be a registered nurse having graduated from an accredited program. If interested in beginning the program this Fall 2009, please contact the Nursing Department at the Clearfield Campus 814-768-3450 immediately.