College of Nursing to begin pre-licensure BSN degree

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 3:05:00 PM

The Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing has announced plans to begin a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program, with unique options for clinical concentration. The anticipated implementation date is August 2014.

Dries, Kelly

The college has offered a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion program since 1983, but that program was designed for associate degree nursing students (A.D.N.s) or diploma prepared registered nurses (R.N.s) looking for enhanced career opportunities, promotions, and management positions. The new Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a pre-licensure program and is therefore open to students with no prior nursing experience. As a four-year degree program, it allows enrolled students to have a more traditional college experience. 

“This new pre-licensure program is necessary based on the changing health care environment,” said Kelly J. Dries, dean of the College of Nursing. “Due to the increasingly complex health care system, many healthcare agencies recommend that nurses be prepared at the BSN level. In addition, prospective students coming from high school have indicated the desire for a pre-licensure bachelor’s program and a traditional University experience.”  

An August 2012 academic program analysis by Noel-Levitz, a higher education consulting firm, reported that only 2% of high school seniors are interested in an associate’s degree in nursing, however 25% are interested in health professions and health sciences, including nursing.  

Stritch’s new pre-licensure BSN program will be unique as students can select a concentration in their clinical practice, including nursing experiences in the Hispanic/Latino community, and faith-based nursing. The Hispanic/Latino population was selected due to the large Hispanic/Latino community in metro Milwaukee; the faith-based nursing concentration was chosen for its direct alignment to the mission of the University.  

The new BSN program will take four years or eight semesters to complete, and is designed to be delivered face-to-face.  The curriculum, based on 120 credits, is designed to allow students to take a core nursing course early in the program and not in the sixth semester as with many other programs.

The pre-licensure BSN program will replace the existing Associate of Science in Nursing program. However, the existing BSN-Completion program will continue to serve registered nurses seeking professional advancement.