University of Maryland School of Nursing expanding RN-to-BSN Option at Laurel College Center
September 8, 2016
Emphasis will be placed on developing nurses with essential public health skills.
Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and the Laurel College Center (LCC) were awarded a University System of Maryland Non-USM Regional Higher Education Centers Incentive Funding Request to support the expansion of educational opportunities for the RN-to-BSN students at LCC. LCC’s expansion will be supported by a $203,046 grant during fiscal years 2016-18.
This grant will fund expansion and implementation of an enhanced practicum learning experience at LCC using low- and moderate-fidelity simulation for RN-to-BSN students enrolled in the Public Health Nursing Essentials for the Registered Nurse (NURS 467) course. Student group clusters will augment practicum hours with simulated learning exercises, directed by the Family and Community Health faculty at LCC. This initiative will enable nurse educators to emphasize developing the essential public health skills necessary to prepare nurses to meet the health care needs of various patient populations.
“Students are less knowledgeable about population health concepts or on how to consider health outcomes from the perspective of a group of individuals. As a result, they sometimes find it difficult to relate public health concepts learned in the classroom to nursing practice,” said Nina Trocky, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE, assistant professor and associate dean for the baccalaureate program. “Combining low- and mid-fidelity simulation with clustered group experiences will allow students to practice new skills within a safe and supportive learning environment. We feel that the faculty-developed case scenarios will improve our ability to assist students to attain the recommended public health baccalaureate core competencies.”
In achieving the Institute of Medicine’s goal of 80 percent of nurses holding a BSN degree by 2020, UMSON revised its RN-to-BSN curriculum in 2014. UMSON’s aim is to ensure its graduates become competent nursing professionals capable of providing safe and effective care regardless of the health care setting. This initiative also will build upon the education offered though LCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing program, addressing the competencies required for RNs in the increasingly complex health care environment, and includes the essential content required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
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 in the nation and is ranked 11th 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.