The start of the RN/BSN Online Opportunity Program, which gives licensed nurses who already have a diploma or associates degree in nursing the opportunity to complete a bachelors degree online, was announced by U-M-Flint officials May 3. Nursing students everywhere can access the program at http://umflintonline.org.
The critical regional need for more BSN-prepared nurses was clearly expressed in fall 1998, when nursing executives from the three major medical centers in Genesee County approached the Greater Flint Health Coalition requesting assistance in determining ways to increase the number of BSN graduates available for employment, said Ellen Woodman, director of the Department of Nursing. In addition, non-traditional nursing students have expressed a need and desire for alternative delivery methods for the RN/BSN program. The online program meets this demand.
A unique aspect of the RN/BSN Online Opportunity Program is the commitment to maintain personal contact between faculty and students, through orientation efforts and ongoing support and interaction that are built into the program. Students will be on campus once a term for group learning activities and personal faculty contact. Arrangements also will be made for students to work with practitioner supervisors in their areas who have expertise in the students field of study.
The program includes 22 courses for 52 credit hours. They meet the same accreditation requirements and are taught by the same faculty as their on-campus counterparts.
Supporting U-M-Flint with the implementation is eCollege.com, which provides technology and services that enable educational institutions to offer an Internet-based environment for online campuses, enhanced classroom-based teaching and distance programs. eCollege.com awarded Flint a $136,000 grant as part of the companys initiative to provide greater access to degree programs via the Internet.
U-M-Flint is well deserving of this grant as they take strides to make quality education more accessible to those students otherwise hindered by work and family commitments, said Rob Helmick, president and CEO of eCollege.com. The RN/BSN Online Opportunity Program affords more nurses the ability to advance their education, while also providing the community with more qualified nurses.