Online University Pledges To Help Ease Nursing Shortage

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Our nation’s nursing shortage has been brought on in large part because there aren’t enough seats at universities and nursing schools to accommodate applicants. This has resulted in more than 50,000 applicants being turned away from schools in the last year alone.

The First Online Nursing Program of its Kind

nurseNow, an online school, Western Governors University (WGU), has pledged to do something about the problem, by offering the first of its kind national, accredited, online competency-based bachelor’s degree program aimed at preparing students for initial licensure as registered nurses.

The new WGU program, which is called the Multi-State Approach to the Preparation of Registered Nurses, or MAP-RN, has received unanimous approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The pilot program is scheduled to begin in July at three Southern California hospitals. This groundbreaking program will combine WGU’s online, competency-based academic approach with intensive clinical simulations and clinical practice at partner hospitals supervised by onsite clinical coaches who will also be serving as WGU adjunct faculty.

“This partnership is a great example of our healthcare providers, educators, and the state working together to alleviate our nursing shortage and get more Californians to work,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “This new competency-based program is a win-win for California by making nursing programs more accessible to people interested in pursuing this career path and helping to fill critically needed jobs throughout the state.” (To read the release issued by the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, go to http://www.labor.ca.gov/pdf/nwsrel09-08.pdf.)

“Prospective nurses will now have access to a high quality degree program that will enable them to earn a B.S. and prepare for their RN license flexibly and affordably,” said WGU President Robert Mendenhall. “The B.S. in Nursing leading to initial licensure program complements WGU’s other bachelor’s and master’s degree nursing programs for already-licensed RNs and supports our mission to provide educational opportunities and degree programs to meet the needs of underserved populations and employers with critical workforce needs.”

A Multi Government, Multi Agency Initiative

The new nursing program is a partnership that includes the Governor’s Task Force for the California Nurse Education Initiative Workforce and Labor Development Agency, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce and Labor Development Agency, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Catholic Healthcare West, Hospital Corporation of America, Kaiser Permanente, Tenet Healthcare, and Universal Health Services. For more information regarding this program, go to www.wgu.edu/rn.

Adv. — Online learning opens a world of educational opportunities for students. Almost every course of study imaginable is offered via the internet, offering degree, diploma and certificate programs for tens of millions of students. To learn more, please visit SayLearning.com to find a program to your liking. Do you need financial aid? If so, check out our free financial aid charts to learn how to apply.

Photo Credit: Wojciech Wolak

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