FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IFPW) will begin offer a new online Bachelor of Science RN to B.S. program with a major in nursing this fall. The program's aimed at registered nurses with an associate's degree in nursing who want to pursue a bachelor's degree.
University leaders said there's a growing trend in the medical industry that requires registered nurses (RNs) to have a bachelor's degree.
Carol Sternberger, the chair of the IPFW Department of Nursing, said the university has offered the RN to B.S. program for more than 30 years. In recent years, the program was a hybrid, mixed with online courses and courses that took place in a traditional classroom.
"We said lets go through and look at our entire program," Sternberger said. "Lets throw it in a mix, and then look at our accreditation requirements, and build the very best, flexible, responsive program we can."
The new program was developed by the IPFW Department of Nursing and will be delivered by the Division of Continuing Studies' Online Learning Program. The goals of the RN to B.S. program are to offer a B.S. program in nursing that is more affordable, individualized and flexible in order to better accommodate nursing students' work schedules and personal commitments.
"Nurses work varying schedules and IPFW saw the online delivery format as meeting the needs of potential students while still maintaining the academic rigor IPFW requires. Students can no longer commit to being in class two or three evenings per week, but they can fit the work in as their schedule permits," Karen VanGorder, the director of Online Learning for IPFW's Division of Continuing Studies, said in a press release.
After attaining the B.S. degree, nursing graduates may apply for the IPFW Master of Science with a major in nursing, an existing online program that allows nurses to choose from four areas of concentration based on their interests and career goals. Completion of the master's degree may lead to their serving as managers or administrators in a medical or business setting, or as nursing school instructors.
IPFW also offers another undergraduate nursing program, a Bachelor of Science with a major in nursing that provides a more traditional learning approach, meeting in classrooms and laboratories on the IPFW campus. This traditional program is designed for individuals wishing to achieve a bachelor's degree with a major in nursing surrounded by peers in a more structured setting. Students may be admitted into the traditional B.S. program with no nursing experience or as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who have graduated from accredited nursing programs.
"The IPFW nursing programs help qualified LPNs matriculate into the B.S. program and we consider their education and experience as we place them in the nursing curriculum," said Sternberger.
The IPFW bachelor's and master's degree programs with a major in nursing culminate in a degree from Purdue University, a world leader in professional science, engineering, and technological education.
Applications currently are being accepted for fall 2013 enrollment. For registered nurses who have been out of school for a while, a six-week course called Demystifying Diagnostics in Healthcare is available to build upon their previous knowledge and experience. The course starts on August 26 at a cost of $79 and results in one credit hour that can be applied toward the RN to B.S. degree; for more information, visit learn.ipfw.edu or call 260-481-6619.
To learn more about IPFW's new online Bachelor of Science Completion RN to B.S. program with a major in nursing, go to ipfw.edu/rn-to-bs , or speak to an academic advisor for the program at 260-481-6282 or 260-481-5782.
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