The critical need to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared RNs to improve the safety and quality of patient care in today's complex health care system is a pressing issue in health care. One part of the solution lies in the attainment of higher education of RNs prepared at the associate and diploma levels who make up the majority of the nursing workforce in the United States today. The Indiana University Schools of Nursing located throughout the state of Indiana collaborated to create a statewide RN-to-bachelor of science in nursing curriculum that is flexible, innovative, and meaningful. The plan focuses on the strengths and unique learning needs of returning RN students. Specifically, this curriculum offers year-round online courses in 7-week terms, which allows students to enter and exit the program within 1 year, and a curriculum with more choices and fewer constraints than is typical for baccalaureate nursing degrees. This learner-centered plan fully incorporates the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials for Baccalaureate Education (2009) throughout the curriculum. It is conveniently delivered online, takes into account and gives credit for students' previous learning and work experience, and allows the students to pursue nursing specialty knowledge for college credit. Working together as a consortium to achieve these goals across an entire state with 8 regional campuses required focused attention on the concerns and strengths of all the stakeholders and successful implementation of effective communication strategies.
- RN to BSN
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