By Jody Grenert
The School of Nursing will launch a program this fall that will offer Southeast Ohio's only four-year nursing degree.
The program, which offers a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), cleared its final administrative hurdle on May 14 when the Ohio Board of Nursing gave the university's School of Nursing approval to begin admitting BSN students in September. The program is expected to receive full approval from the board in 2013, when its first class graduates.
Courses for the BSN program will take place at the university's main campus in Athens. The baccalaureate program joins three other nursing-degree programs offered by the School of Nursing: a master's, also offered at the Athens campus; a two-year associate degree, offered at regional campuses in Chillicothe, Zanesville and Ironton, which prepares students for a career as a registered nurse; and a transitional degree program that enables registered nurses to complete a bachelor's in nursing, which is administered largely online.
"Ohio University developed the BSN program in response to the ongoing critical need for educating and retaining baccalaureate-prepared nurses to work in rural, under-served areas of Southeastern Ohio," said Mary Bowen, professor and director of the School of Nursing and associate executive dean of nursing education for regional campuses. "Students now have the opportunity to realize their career goal of becoming professional nurses without leaving their community, and remain in their home communities to practice following graduation."
The program will also help address a projected national shortfall in the number of nurses. A shortfall of 32,000 registered nurses is projected for Ohio by 2020, according to an analysis by the Ohio Hospital Association.
For more information, visit the program Web site at www.hhs.ohiou.edu/nursing/academic_programs_bachelor_of_science_in_nursing.aspx