Sept. 19, 2012
Submitted story and photo
Kansas nurses now can advance their careers at home, thanks to an innovative agreement between Barton Community College and the University of Kansas School of Nursing. The agreement allows nurses with an associate’s degree in nursing from a participating college to easily transition to receive their bachelor of science in nursing from KU’s online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN) program. KU signed similar agreements with 18 other colleges as well.
“Healthcare today is increasingly demanding bachelor’s-prepared nurses,” said Karen Miller, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, Dean of the KU School of Nursing. “We want to ensure that Kansas’ nursing workforce can meet that demand, but that the state’s nurses can earn an affordable bachelor’s degree without having to leave their home community.”
KU has offered an online RN-to-BSN degree since 1996, but the new agreement eases the transition. It offers admission to every student who graduates from an associate’s degree nursing program with a 2.5 GPA or higher and passes the licensure exam to become an RN.
“At the University of Kansas, it’s our mission to serve all Kansans,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “We’re making it easier for Kansas nurses to continue their education at KU. That will benefit their careers, as well as help them contribute to the health of their communities.”
“It is a partnership that will benefit our students by creating a smooth transition to the KU School of Nursing,” said Kathy Kottas, Director of Barton’s Nursing Program. “Our graduates will actually get a junior-level status at KU.”
Kottas added that graduates will never have to leave their communities to finish their BSN, as the KU portion of the program is all online, and clinical experience can be acquired at a local hospital.
“Under this new agreement, community college faculty will play a central role in the success of the program and the students,” Miller added. The RN-to-BSN program will employ master’s or doctorally prepared faculty at the community colleges to teach many of the courses.
Students choosing to enroll in KU’s RN-to-BSN program will have to earn a total of 120 credit hours, including 60 hours in prerequisites and liberal arts curriculum. The last 30 hours of the program will be completed online through the KU School of Nursing.