Nursing Program Combines Online, On-Site Learning
Nikki Gould sums up the best aspect of the recently launched Academic Partnership Bachelor of Science in Nursing (AP-BSN) program in one word: flexibility. “I can do a class at 9 at night if I want to,” she says. “Or 1 in the morning. I don’t do that, but some of my classmates do.”
Gould, a junior who plans to be a pediatric nurse, is among the first cohort of 40 students who began the 15-month program in January. The AP-BSN combines a media-enriched online format with extensive clinical experiences to address two aspects of the national nursing shortage: lack of faculty and insufficient clinical learning space.
Clinical training for the first cohort is at Baylor Health Care System, Medical City-Dallas, and Parkland Health & Hospital System. The College of Nursing plans to offer the AP-BSN program to the more than 170 hospitals in its Academic Partnership network.
“Innovative approaches to enrolling and supporting students in schools of nursing are paramount, as we face a significant nursing shortage,” says 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.”
With help from service provider Higher Education Holdings, the program is expected to substantially increase the college’s capacity to accommodate qualified applicants and create a seamless transition to the role of the registered nurse upon graduation.
“The Academic Partnership-BSN program provides an effective strategy to produce highly confident and competent new registered nurses,” says Beth Mancini, College of Nursing associate dean and chair for undergraduate nursing programs.
In 2008 the college partnered with Higher Education Holdings to expand the RN-to-BSN program. Offering an accessible, affordable online option, the Academic Partnership RN-to-BSN has grown from 100 students to more than 2,000. The Master of Science in Nursing program launched an Academic Partnership offering in nursing administration in March.