Building Capacity in Nursing Schools

Multistate online nursing education aimed at increasing the number of baccalaureate level graduate nurses

Field of Work: Online education for nurses

Problem Synopsis: The nation's nursing shortage is expected to grow to more than one million nurses by 2020.

Synopsis of the Work: Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, an online university, developed and implemented a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) combining online courses with patient simulation labs and clinical experiences at partnering health care organizations to prepare students for initial licensure as registered nurses.

Key Results: The prelicensure program offers: (1) competency-based learning; (2) a bachelors' level curriculum provided online; (3) patient simulation labs; (4) clinical rotations (called clinical intensives).

The BSN program received accreditation nationally and in four states (California, Texas, Utah and Florida). As of December 31, 2010, it had enrolled seven cohorts with a total of 81 students in California, and 6 cohorts with a total of 34 students in Texas.

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