The degree allows current registered nurses to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing in about two years. Increasingly, hospitals are requiring four-year degrees from nursing candidates, according to industry sources. The new degree program is available immediately.
“I am delighted by the commission’s approval of the nursing degree completion program,” said Dr. James D. Evans, president of Lindenwood University. “This degree will increase the number of outstanding nursing candidates available to area hospitals and medical facilities. We are proud to welcome nursing students to our beautiful new Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Center.”
Dr. Jann Weitzel, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said receiving approval from the university’s regional accreditor to offer a post-licensure Bachelor of Science degree in nursing allows the university to offer the coursework required for licensed nurses to earn their BSNs, a step desired/required by many healthcare institutions.
“Our program is offered as a hybrid program, allowing practicing nurses, as well as those newly licensed nurses, to do a portion of their work online while working a full-time job and tending to other life responsibilities,” Weitzel said. “The faculty members who have been hired to guide students and teach the program are exceptionally well-qualified, and the coursework and facilities are top notch.”
Dr. Peggy Ellis, dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, said the school has 18 nursing students in its first semester. The university’s Center for Nursing and Allied Health is located in Dardenne Prairie at the former site of Barat Academy, which was purchased by the university in September 2012 and has undergone renovation prior to the start of the fall 2013 semester.
Evans said the university also plans to offer a master’s in nursing and programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and emergency medical technician. He said others are also being considered conceptually.
“We are excited about the opportunity to give graduates of associate degree nursing programs the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science,” Evans said. “We will play a significant role in providing the necessary credentials for nursing candidates to succeed in a field that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as baby boomers age.”