Rowan, UMDNJ Institute RN-to-BSN ProgramDecember 10, 2003
Rowan University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) have collaborated to establish an RN-to-BSN program that will enable registered nurses to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree on the Rowan campus in conjunction with UMDNJ.
Designed to respond to the growing need for registered nurses with a bachelor?s degree, the program will provide practicing nurses with the additional professional education to obtain their bachelor of science. The program will prepare registered nurses to work in the ever-expanding field of nursing, increasing their knowledge base and enhancing their careers. Students in this program will follow and complete requirements for a specialized B.S. in Nursing at Rowan University.
At Rowan, the program will be a part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and primarily will draw on the resources of the Department of Biological Sciences. The two-year program will follow the specialized Bachelor of Science format with 24 credits of nursing elective courses and 36 credits of specialized required nursing courses. Upper level nursing courses will be taught by UMDNJ faculty in the new Rowan Science Building. Admission to the program will be administered by Rowan University.
Students enrolled in the program will officially be part of the Rowan University student body. The transcripts of the students enrolled in the program will indicate that the BSN courses are Rowan University courses and that the BSN degree is awarded jointly by Rowan University and UMDNJ.
The Rowan Board of Trustees approved the program at its December 10, 2003 meeting.
The UMDNJ Board of Trustees will consider the proposal at its January meeting. The two institutions expect to begin the offering in 2004, pending UMDNJ and state approval.
Noted Rowan Provost Dr. Helen Giles-Gee, ?There is a significant need for practicing nurses, nurse educators, nurse faculty and nurse leaders in South Jersey. A BSN degree is a requirement at several local hospitals for their nurse administrators. By joining with the University of Medicine & Dentistry, Rowan will help meet the demands of today?s and tomorrow?s health industry in our region.?
As nursing has provided more opportunities, it also has made more demands. Nurses who wish to become nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners and nurse-anesthetists all must first obtain a BSN before entering graduate school.
?We have a BSN shortage nationally and in New Jersey,? said Dr. Jay Harper, dean of Rowan?s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. ?In South Jersey specifically, the vacancy rate for health care positions that require a BSN is approximately 13 percent. This situation exists because about 86 percent of employed nurses in South Jersey only hold an associates degree or lower. Rowan and UMDNJ administrators believe this is strong evidence a local BSN program is needed to help alleviate the current shortage.?
To enter the program, potential students must have graduated with a National League for Nursing-accredited associate degree, passed the Nursing Certification & Licensure Examination and hold a license from the state of New Jersey to practice as a registered nurse. (Individuals licensed as registered nurses in other states must be eligible for New Jersey State Board of Nursing licensure as a registered professional nurse.) Additionally, candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher and a grade of <+>C<+> or higher in all nursing, science and English composition courses. (Applicants who are not graduates of a United States college or university must have a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.)
A total of 120 credits will be needed to graduate. This number includes both the general education requirements (42 credits) appropriate to the degree plus 60 credits in the major and 18 free elective credits.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing will provide strong education for registered nurses. Grounded in courses addressing informatics, community health, epidemiology, occupational health, pharmacology, environmental health, management and research, this degree will offer registered nurses the flexibility to focus on their work while obtaining the needed knowledge.