ABU offering online nursing program

PHILIPPI – For the first time in history at Alderson Broaddus University, busy nurses have the chance to advance their degrees with a new online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, officials announced Friday.

“I have seen the boundless opportunities in the health care field, and feel privileged to participate in the education of the next generation of these professionals,” Dean of the College of Health Services and online administrator Dr. Brenda Mason said, adding that there are over 13,000 associate-degree nurses in the state and AB is well known for its reputable nursing programs.

Nurses practicing as RNs with associate degrees are not able to get management or supervisory jobs in their field without the BSN degree.

“What it’s going to bring to them is the opportunity to go back to school and to advance their careers,” Mason said. “This will give them the flexibility to be able to take classes any time.”

After a busy day, nurses can log on and complete classwork at any time of the day or night, be it after dinner, before work, past midnight or on a lunch break.

Mason said that the Institution of Medicine highly recommends that 80 percent of all nurses have BSN degrees by 2020. The online approach to the course allows nurses to advance in their careers and support their families while meeting that recommendation.

The 18-month program will be taught in eight-week courses with rolling admissions, meaning students can enroll in the program full-time or part-time every eight weeks. The courses roll out Jan. 6, 2014, at a cost of $295 per credit hour taken by the student. Mason said the price is very competitive and one of the cheapest prices per credit hour in West Virginia.

“The program gives registered nurses an opportunity to advance their education, and ultimately their careers, in a fast-paced curriculum designed so they can also continue to work,” Mason said. “Our innovative program is built upon recent significant changes in health care, nursing practice and educational theory.

“The announcement comes at a very good time,” she added. “It’s the perfect resolution for the growing number of nurses who have inquired about our program but, because of their schedules, found it difficult to get to campus.”

The first four-year BSN program in the state of West Virginia was launched in 1945 by Alderson-Broaddus College, and, according to a press release, this new online program continues the academic excellence that has long been a hallmark of Alderson Broaddus University.

Sophomore communications major Aurora Winwood said she was attracted to enroll at ABU last year because of its dynamic academic programs. Winwood said she has witnessed ABU grow already.

“This year, everything has just advanced so much, especially with the development of new colleges and schools,” Winwood said. “It’s really exciting to see the changes. Although I’m not a nursing major, I’m excited for fellow students that are, and that they’ll have the opportunity to do online programs.”

While this is the first online program available at ABU, Mason said it may not be the last.

“We plan to develop many more; this is just our first,” Mason said.

Marketing Director Ashley Mittlemeier issued a press release stating that ABU will soon be announcing more changes and adding more academic initiatives, including online programs. More information about the RN-BSN program is available online at www.ab.edu/rn2bsn.

– Contact Melissa Toothman by email at mtoothman@theintermountain.com.