To Address the Nursing Shortage in Local Hospitals, Ocean County College Designs a Web-Assisted Curriculum
From 2003 to 2006, Ocean County College in Toms River, N.J., developed the One Day Per Week Nursing Program, a Web-assisted curriculum leading to an associate’s degree in nursing. The program is targeted to individuals who are already working in health care.
By delivering all classroom, laboratory and clinical learning experiences in a single day of the week, and providing the core of the curriculum through the Web, the two-year program allows these students to pursue the training necessary to take the licensing exam for registered nurses (RNs) while continuing to work. It was renamed the On Site On Line Nursing Program in 2010.
This project was funded through RWJF's New Jersey Health Initiatives, which addresses health and health care needs in the Foundation's home state.
Project staff reported the following results to RWJF:
- With the help of an instructional designer, Ocean County College faculty members created the One Day Per Week Nursing Program by:
- Recasting the curriculum's didactic courses into material that can be delivered online.
- Organizing face-to-face learning experiences that can be delivered one day per week.
- From 2007 to 2009, Ocean County College added an average of 52 licensed RNs to the market each year through the one-day-a-week program. That reflected an increase of roughly 30 percent over the number graduating and becoming licensed in the traditional program alone.
- Project staff helped all major hospitals in Ocean County and large portions of Monmouth County market the One Day Per Week program to their health care employees, chiefly through posters, brochures and newspaper articles. Hospitals agreed to retain the students as employees, adjusting their work schedules as needed to accommodate their studies.
Project staff emphasized recruiting students from minority communities that have been historically underrepresented in the nursing profession.
- Project staff published an article about the program in Teaching and Learning in Nursing. They also made approximately 20 presentations to local, state and national professional organizations, including the New Jersey Council for Community Colleges Best Practices Symposium and the American Public Health Association, and created a Web page with general information.
In 2006, the program received two honors for helping alleviate the nursing shortage: a joint resolution from the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate and a President's Award from the New Jersey Public Health Association.