RSU’s Traditional BSN and Online RN2BSN Receive Full Accreditation

Two girls in nursing scrubs holding backpacks.

Rogers State University’s traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the RN2BSN Online programs received full accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing following a site visit last week. Approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in 2016, the first class of Traditional BSN students will graduate in May.

The site visit ensured RSU’s nursing program is meeting standards for excellence in nursing education. 

“Accreditation ensures quality,” Dr. Carla Lynch, the department head of nursing and health sciences, said. “The site visit was very successful, and I am proud of our faculty’s preparation and dedication to high standards in curriculum and instruction.”

Being an accredited nursing program is essential to competitively attract quality students from across the region.

“Being the only residential public university in the metropolitan Tulsa area makes us desirable for many students who want the traditional college experience. With the proximity to four major hospitals in Tulsa, RSU is strategically positioned geographically, fiscally and reputationally to be the first choice in BSN education,” Lynch said.

RSU has a long history spanning thirty-seven years of nursing excellence. The associate degree nursing program first graduated students in 1983.

“Registered nurses who hold a BSN have greater opportunity for upward mobility in the workplace.  Leadership and management jobs in nursing generally require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Due to these advantages to nursing graduates and our patients, and the transition of RSU to a greater focus on providing bachelor-level education, the time was right to make the transition from an associate to bachelor’s in nursing,” Dr. Lynch said.

RSU’s RN2BSN program originated in 2007 with traditional on-ground instruction. The transition to an online delivery nearly doubled enrollment for the 2020 summer and fall semesters. Last year, the RN2BSN program ranked among the top three programs in Oklahoma, according to Registerednursing.org, an online industry publication operated in California that reviews programs across the nation. 

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,” Dr. Marla Smith, associate professor of nursing and RN2BSN program coordinator, said. “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.”

BSN nursing at RSU will continue to evolve. Future plans include an upcoming remodel of the main lecture classroom to provide a state-of-the-art learning environment.  

The RSU Foundation is raising $135,000 to renovate the lecture hall located in Room 135 of the Health Sciences Building. The renovation would include new in-floor electrical wiring, replacement floor coverings, movable classroom tables with electrical and USB data ports and new chairs.

“To better serve our community and meet the needs of the nursing shortage, we hope to expand our capacity to accept greater numbers of students into each Traditional BSN cohort,” Dr. Lynch said.

On February 26, the State Department of Health made 500 vaccines available for RSU to provide to students, faculty and staff. The vaccines were administered by RSU nursing students under the supervision and guidance of nursing faculty.

The Traditional BSN program serves pre-nursing students and leads to licensure as a registered nurse. This program is highly competitive for admission and space is limited. Nurses interested in the RN2BSN online must apply by August 15. For more information, visit www.rsu.edu/nursing.