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Accelerated RN-to-BS nursing program begins at Fayette campus

11/14/2008 —
Thanks to a 3-year, $841,514 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus and Penn State Altoona have been able to launch accelerated RN-to-BS nursing programs.

The accelerated program at Penn State Fayette allows registered nurses (RNs) to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree in 12 months—an achievement that usually takes two years or more. The courses are taught in a “blended” format, including in-class, Web-enhanced, and Web-delivered offerings. Students need to spend only one day per week on campus, and clinical experiences are coordinated with partnering health-care institutions.

Melissa Miner, coordinator of Penn State Fayette’s nursing program, explains, “Penn State Fayette was selected as one of the two campuses in the Penn State system to offer this accelerated program because Fayette is a rural county that borders other rural or underserved counties. The importance of increasing the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees has been identified in the state and this program will help enhance the quality of health care in our region.”

Ten students are participating in the first group to take advantage of the program at Penn State Fayette. The next program cycle will begin September 2009, at which time additional students will be enrolled.

Miner says students in the initial cohort are excited about fast-tracking their nursing careers. “The students are thrilled that a program is available that meets their professional and personal needs. All classes in the program—nursing and non-nursing—are offered one day per week, so nurses can keep their jobs while pursuing their advanced degree. This is the most-accelerated program offered in the region, so it is drawing a lot of interest.”

RN-to-BS nursing student Tiffany Blosser says the accelerated program benefits people in the community as well as RNs pursing the BS degree. “We will be able to aid the community sooner than if we were attending a traditional four-year BSN program. This will help the people in Fayette County, as well as surrounding counties, to be cared for faster and more accurately because they will have more qualified nurses available for their healthcare needs.  This opportunity means a lot to me personally as a nurse, and I am proud to be a participant in the HRSA grant.”

Penn State Fayette’s RN-to-BS nursing program is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

RNs interested in learning more about the accelerated RN-to-BS program at Penn State Fayette can call 724-430-4220 or go online at www.fayette.psu.edu/Academics and click on degrees and minors.

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