Rogers State University’s online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has been ranked among the top three programs in Oklahoma. The designation comes from Registerednursing.org, an online industry publication operated in California that reviews programs across the nation. The RN2BSN program originated in 2007 with traditional on-ground instruction. In the fall of 2019 the online section launched with 76 students in attendance. The transition to an online delivery has nearly doubled enrollment for the 2020 summer and fall semesters.
“Our nursing programs continue to provide students throughout the region with the best educational opportunities,” Dr. Susan Willis, dean of the school of professional studies, said. “We have great nursing faculty. I am proud to see their hard work recognized.”
The online RN2BSN program is designed for working RNs and provides students with an expanded set of skills and the opportunity to pursue career advancement. With the online delivery model, nurses can continue working while advancing their education.
“RSU has a long history of nursing excellence. Through the years we have seen a need for a more flexible learning environment,” Dr. Carla Lynch, department head for the department of health sciences, said. “RSU has adapted to meet those needs. It offers quality, flexibility and affordability beyond any other program in our region.”
Many diploma and ADN-holding RNs in Oklahoma are choosing to enroll in specialized RN2BSN programs to earn a bachelor’s degree as a growing number of hospital systems raise the minimum requirement for new nurse hires.
“Research supports that patient outcomes are improved when cared for by a bachelor’s prepared registered nurse,” Dr. Marla Smith, associate professor of nursing and RN2BSN program coordinator, said. “In Oklahoma, we have far more nurses practicing with an associate degree than bachelor’s degree. It’s our mission to prepare the nurses of tomorrow with all the tools they need to succeed, not only for themselves but for the care of their patients.”
Smith has been instrumental in the development of the program as it transitioned to a successful online program with attendance on the rise.
“Dr. Smith has always been an early-adopter of change and her rich nursing history has kept her aware of changes in the nursing world. Other key faculty have included Dr. Nancy Diede, Dr. Teri Bycroft, Dr. Amy Richards and Dr. Kay Bolding. We are grateful for their vision, online course design, teaching and mentoring. Our program is a success because of their dedication to put students first,” Lynch said.
RSU is noted for its student focused approach to creating a supportive learning environment that cultivates student success.
“Meeting the needs of working professionals is our mission, but our joy comes from our students’ accomplishments. As instructors we get to dream, create and engage alongside them. We also operate as an extended campus and are available by phone or text 24 hours a day. Our instructors are heavily invested, and our student outcomes show that,” Smith said.
Lynch encourages working nurses to advance their careers to benefit not only themselves but our community as well.
“We need your knowledge, skill and grit now in healthcare than ever before. The sacrifice you are making to continue your education will pay dividends in terms of bettering the quality of life for our communities as well as preparing you professionally for unknown pandemics that lie ahead,” Lynch said.
RSU’s Nursing program began in 1981. It is approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The RN2BSN online courses are designed to meet rigid national standards through the Quality Matters program, the nation’s premier online certification program measuring effectiveness of online instructional course design. A public, regional four-year university fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, RSU has embraced Quality Matters for its online courses and degree programs.
For more information about the RN2BSN degree program, visit rsu.edu/rn2bsn.