In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) published a report that has been overwhelmingly referenced recommending that by the year 2020, 80 percent of nurses should be baccalaureate prepared. Since then, this has been used by healthcare agencies nationwide to set the bar, with many listing nursing positions as BSN preferred or having associate prepared nurses sign contracts requiring them to achieve that degree within 3-5 years or face termination.
This is especially seen in hospitals pursuing Magnet or Pathway to Excellence status. In 2017, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also signed legislation requiring future nurses graduating from associate degree or diploma nursing programs to obtain a baccalaureate in nursing within 10 years of initial licensure.
The RN-to-B.S. in Nursing program is a hybrid program that holds nursing classes where RNs work. With support from local healthcare agencies, nursing faculty travel to teach where nurses are working. Scheduling flexibility is a high priority with evening classes arranged around student cohorts.
This student-centered approach allows for the possibility of working nurses to start their shift at the bedside and finish it in a classroom without commuting to a college campus. Clinical hours also remain student-centered through one-on-one discussions and placement to not only meet clinical objectives, but personal ones as well.
With the hybrid approach, students are exposed to online courses, modules, and virtual simulation. Technology is the way of healthcare’s future, and it is found in many graduate school programs, so it is the mission of the nursing faculty at St. Bonaventure to prepare B.S. in nursing graduates to be savvy consumers for current practice and future academic endeavors.
Course content is also focused on technology, with two classes dedicated to developing skills in nursing informatics and evidence-based practice.
A big piece that sets this program apart from others is a focus on emotional intelligence. Threaded throughout the program, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management lessons and activities work to prepare RNs to become their best selves.
In 2017, a research study showed “…that training in emotional intelligence abilities may increase job satisfaction and decrease burnout.” (Jung Lee, p. 1)
Graduates are guided to complete assignments that hone inter- and intra-personal skills that can be immediately applied to combat driving factors behind nurse turnover.
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