Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Nursing Workforce Strategies
Collaboration with Technology Centers for LPN to BSN Career Advancement
Priscilla Ramsey, RN, PhD1, Sally S. Blowers, RN, PhD1, and Carolyn Merriman, APRN, MS, BC2. (1) Department of Adult Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA, (2) Family/Community Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA
Learning Objective #1: List 3 advantages of collaborating with community health care agencies to promote career advancement for LPNs.
Learning Objective #2: Describe 2 strategies that promote successful articulation between higher education nursing programs and technical education LPN programs.

Background: Many counties served by East Tennessee State University (ETSU) located in Southern Appalachia are rural and poor. Nursing students from these counties are more likely to enter 10 month LPN programs in local technology centers (TTCs) than to seek a nursing degree. However, responses to a pre-project survey (n=221) indicated that 90% wanted to pursue a nursing degree and 83% indicated a BSN degree.

Methods: Objectives for this funded LPN to BSN project were 1) to increase the number of LPN-BSN students by recruiting and retaining 10% of LPN graduates in one TTC and 2) collaborating with TTC faculty to provide supplemental instruction and tutoring. An “ETSU at TTC” office was established to advise students and plan a course of study based on their needs. Field trips were arranged for classes to tour the university campus and meet faculty and other LPN to BSN students currently in the program. Faculty provided workshops on test taking, time management, and drug calculation to promote academic success for incoming LPN students. Successful LPN students were recruited as peer tutors to help struggling classmates. Partnership health care agencies agreed to pay tuition for LPN employees and guaranteed time off for class to pursue a BSN degree.

Outcomes: Nine LPN graduates applied for admission to the BSN program in the first year of the project. Three to 6 LPN students at TTC were counseled for ETSU admission weekly. The demand for on site tutoring has doubled with increased retention of LPN students. LPN students admitted to ETSU received tutoring, mentoring and personalized academic advising as part of their nursing program to facilitate retention and academic success. Currently, 83 LPN to BSN students participate in the LPN to BSN program, and 25 have graduated in the past 3 years with a 100% NCLEX pass rate.