Lessons Learned: The Importance of Building Partnerships When Starting an RN-to-BSN Program

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Susan E. Beverung, MSN
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

The Institutes of Medicine’s recommendation that 80% of registered nurse be baccalaureate prepared by 2020 has increased the number of RN to BSN programs that are available. McEwen, M., Pullis, B. R., White, M. J., & Krawtz, S. (2013) Several states have moved to state wide associate degree curricula to make the transition to a baccalaureate degree simpler. Pennington, K., Jarrett, S., & Berg, B.(2013)

Our college received a $15,000 Promise grant to increase the number of registered nurse in our area. The funding was dedicated to streamlining the process of admitting associate degree student to the RN to BSN program. Through collaborative partnerships with technical colleges curricular plans have been developed to allow student to complete liberal arts requirements while they wait for admission into the associate degree program. Also, concurrent RN to BSN course are offered during the last semesters of the associate degree program.

Through the process of developing this program the college has learned many important lessons to be considered when setting up a concurrent program. Differences in grading scales from one institution to another and how these will be translated. Some of the financial aid challenges, when a student is enrolled in two institutions. Financial barriers were also seen in the LEAP project, a HRSA grant designed to accomplish similar goals. Swearingen, C. D., Clarke, P. N., Gatua, M. W., & Sumner, C. C. (2013). Lastly, collaborating with faculty to determine the appropriate admission criteria and grade point average for the program based on the mission and goals of the program.

The goals of this presentation will be to provide an update on the successes of this program in creating a new seamless track for two technical colleges to pursue a baccalaureate degree. And to share the lessons we have learned along the way to help another school have a smoother transition with hopefully less resources expended.