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UT Arlington expands capacity for nursing students

News Release — 26 January 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, 817-272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing has added an Academic Partnership: Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that will substantially increase its capacity to accommodate qualified applicants.

Working with service provider Higher Ed Holdings, the College of Nursing has translated its highly regarded nursing curriculum into a state-of-the-science, media-enriched, online format. This online format addresses two aspects of the national nursing shortage: a lack of available faculty and clinical learning space.

The first cohort of 40 students started the 15-month program Jan. 18. Before gaining acceptance, students had to complete prerequisite courses in the usual academic disciplines such as history, math, government and English. 

Students in the online program are supported not only by experienced faculty members, but also by academic coaches and student success coordinators. Clinical training for this cohort will be done at three partner facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Baylor Health Care System, Medical City-Dallas and Parkland Health & Hospital System.

"Innovative approaches to enrolling and supporting students into schools of nursing are paramount as we face a significant nursing shortage," said Dr. Rosemary Luquire, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. "We are eager to test new strategies with our UT Arlington College of Nursing partner to assure we meet our communities' need for health care."

In addition to online course work, each clinical course in the program has extensive clinical experiences. Each student will receive faculty-supervised clinical experience at a partner hospital or health system that has joined the Academic Partnership Network. This supportive experience makes for a more confident and seamless transition to the role of the registered nurse upon graduation.

"By working together with hospitals and health systems, this new approach to nursing education will provide  an effective strategy to produce highly confident and competent  new registered nurses," said Dr. Beth Mancini, UT Arlington College of Nursing associate dean.  "The Academic Partnership BSN program makes the path to becoming a registered nurse more accessible for students who choose a career in this critical health care profession."

Elizabeth Poster, dean of the College of Nursing, said "As most traditional nursing education programs are unable to meet the demand for greatly increased enrollments, academic partnership models such as this groundbreaking effort will ensure that we can graduate adequate numbers of nurses who are meeting the health care needs of our Texas citizens."

Although the program is starting with three health systems in DFW, the College of Nursing has plans to offer the Academic Partnership Bachelor of Science/Nursing program to the more than 170 hospitals in the school's Academic Partnership Network.

Students must apply by Feb. 1 to begin the BSN degree program in June or by March 1 to begin the program in September. Students may call 866-489-2810 or visit http://stateu.com/uta/nur_bsn.asp  for more information.

ABOUT UT ARLINGTON
The University of Texas at Arlington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees.  The University, which is classified as a Carnegie Research University/High Activity, has a student enrollment of more than 28,000 and is on a pathway to becoming a nationally recognized Tier One institution.  Learn more about UT Arlington at www.uta.edu.

The UT Arlington College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has one of the highest graduation and licensure rates in Texas, with 95 percent of graduates passing the National Council Licensure Examination on their first attempt.  The College of Nursing has a 35-year history of providing cutting edge distance education options for students in their undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2008, the RN-to-BSN program began offering an online option using the Academic Partnership model and has grown from 50 initial students to more than 1800. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is accepting applications for an online Academic Partnership program in Nursing Administration with classes beginning March 1.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.