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NEWS

June 6, 2008

RSU Nursing Program Expands to Bartlesville Campus this Fall

Rogers State University is expanding its nursing program to the Bartlesville campus this fall.

RSU is now offering its Associate Degree Nursing Program Bridge option in Bartlesville, designed for paramedics and licensed practical nurses to “bridge” into registered nursing. After completing the Bridge program, students will be qualified to take the registered nursing (R.N.) licensure exam.

Students may complete all of the program’s prerequisite courses and the second year of the associate degree program at the Bartlesville campus through traditional classes, distance learning classes or online.

 “RSU is responding to the critical shortage of registered nurses in northeast Oklahoma and southern Kansas by bringing one of Oklahoma’s most successful nursing programs to Bartlesville,” said Dr. Larry Rice, RSU President Designate.

RSU nursing students typically score higher on the RN licensure examination than most graduates from other Oklahoma colleges or universities. Last year, the pass rate of RSU nursing graduates was 92 percent, compared to a state average of 82 percent and a national average of 85 percent.

Students can take advantage of two new 1,000 square-foot, handicap-accessible science labs designed for biology and physical science lab courses.

“Hands-on learning in laboratory classes is an essential part of the science education experience and we are excited to begin offering classes in these fully-supplied, fully-functional labs this fall,” said Dr. Keith Martin, Dean of the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Sciences at RSU.

A full-time nursing faculty member, who will teach clinical courses and advise students, will be added to the Bartlesville campus.

 “We are really excited to expand the program and improve the health care of area residents by providing more highly qualified nursing professionals,” said Nancy Diede, RSU acting nurse administrator.

The bridge program has space for up to 24 students at the Bartlesville campus and as the program grows, it may eventually include up to 36 students, Diede said.

The expansion has been approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Students will complete their clinical rotations at area hospitals including Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville.

RSU is receiving support from the Bartlesville Community Foundation, the Mary K. Chapman Foundation, AEP/PSO and Jane Phillips Medical Center to launch the nursing program in Bartlesville.

The need for highly educated nurses is significant across the nation and as the Baby Boomer generation ages, there will be an even greater need for nursing care, Martin said.

“Establishing this program and building new laboratory facilities in Bartlesville makes it possible for more students to consider careers in health care,” Martin said.

According to recent projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016 to meet current and projected needs in the health care industry.

“It is always challenging to recruit qualified applicants for openings at the hospital because of the shortage of nurses across the state. Having the RSU program in Bartlesville will help increase the pool of highly-qualified health care professionals in the area,” said David Stire, Chief Executive Officer of Jane Phillips Medical Center.

RSU is hosting an open house and information session so the public can learn more about the RSU Bartlesville Nursing Program. Sessions will be held at the RSU Bartlesville Campus, 401 S. Dewey, from 12 to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26.

For more information, call (918) 338-8000 or visit www.rsu.edu.