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NEWS

Sept. 12, 2006

RSU Introduces Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

Rogers State University has announced the availability of a new bachelor's degree in nursing designed to alleviate the shortage of nurses in northeast Oklahoma and improve the health care of area residents by providing more highly qualified nursing professionals.

The new Bachelor of Science in Nursing will build on the strengths of the university's two-year program in nursing one of Oklahoma's most academically rigorous and highly regarded nursing programs. RSU nursing students typically score higher on the registered nurse (R.N.) licensure examination than most graduates of programs at any other Oklahoma college or university. Last year, the pass rate of RSU nursing graduates was 97 percent, compared to a state average of 86 percent and a national average of 87 percent.

"RSU is proud to introduce the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to its wide-ranging repertoire of bachelor's degree programs that are nationally innovative in design and content, directly responsive to the needs of area students and employers and drawn from the traditional strengths of the university's existing resources," said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

The new degree program was approved on Tuesday by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the governing board for RSU, at a meeting at the RSU campus in Bartlesville. Students may begin working on the degree this fall.

Although the new bachelor's degree in nursing is designed to prepare nurses to practice in a variety of roles and settings, including leading medical centers, physician's offices and community health centers, the degree will have a special emphasis on rural health care and federally operated facilities.

"By emphasizing on rural health and federally assisted centers, we will prepare nurses to improve the health care of residents who live in the regions we serve and respond to the shortages of nurses in the types of facilities that exist in northeast Oklahoma," said Linda Andrews, RSU assistant vice president of academic affairs and long-time director of the university's nursing program.

The degree is designed to foster more advanced clinical reasoning and analytical skills of students by providing a higher level of education, Andrews said. The curriculum is built on a broad foundation of biological, physical and social sciences which contribute to the science of nursing, as well as a solid liberal arts component focusing on the development of intellectual, social and cultural aspects of the professional nurse, she added.

The new bachelor's degree will provide an opportunity for students who have completed the associate's degree program in nursing at RSU to continue their studies to become more highly qualified professionals. The degree also will prepare nursing students for graduate school. In addition, many employment positions require a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing, Andrews said.

Initially, the degree will be offered on the RSU campus in Claremore, which features state-of-the-art nursing education facilities and laboratories in its Health Sciences Building. The university anticipates offering the program at its Bartlesville campus in the next few years.

For more information on the RSU nursing program, including entrance requirements, application process, advising and enrollment, call (918) 343-7631.