New initiative should increase number of BSN-prepared nurses.
Baltimore, Md. – Beginning in spring 2015, the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) will offer its Registered Nurse-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree option at the Laurel College Center (LCC), located at 312 Marshall Ave, Laurel. The program will be supported through a $345,412, University System of Maryland Non-USM Regional Higher Education Centers Incentive Funding Request during fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
This new initiative at LCC is in response to Maryland’s increasing demand for bachelor’s-prepared nurses. During the past year, UMSON revised its RN-to-BSN option based on feedback from stakeholders, students, and faculty members affiliated with Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) institutions in Maryland.
“Both Howard and Prince George’s Community Colleges prepare a large number of ADN graduates. This new offering at LCC will provide an opportunity for ADNs in this region to obtain their BSN degree,” said Janice Hoffman, PhD, RN, ANEF, assistant professor and assistant dean for the BSN program at UMSON. “Registered nurses from other Maryland counties are also eligible to attend RN-to-BSN courses at LCC.”
According to both the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, and the 2009 Carnegie report, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation, there is a need to increase the number of BSN-prepared registered nurses. With the increasingly complex health care needs of patients, RNs now need specific competencies in care coordination, management of patients with complex needs, and transitional care issues. The IOM report calls for 80 percent of nurses to hold at least a BSN degree by 2020.
Maryland’s statewide education articulation agreement aims to minimize potential barriers to educational advancement while encouraging nurses to achieve the highest level of education possible. The RN-to-BSN option, which requires 31 academic credits for completion, is already being offered at UMSON in Baltimore and at the Universities at Shady Grove.
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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked eleventh nationally. Enrolling 1,700 students in its bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.