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Online-only bachelor of science program in nursing to launch Spring 2019

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— The College of Nursing at Upstate Medical University has announced a major change in its Bachelor of Science program in nursing: starting in the Spring 2019 semester, the program will be fully online.

Students may now apply to this online-only program for the Spring 2019 semester.

The current program has been a combination of face-to-face and online instruction for several years. Moving the program entirely online offers students enhanced flexibility with the potential of engaging more students to earn a degree from Upstate.

“The demands of being a nurse today are well known, which is why it is essential that we provide an opportunity for online education,” said Tammy Austin-Ketch, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, dean of the College of Nursing. “Especially important is the opportunity to provide an online program for nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree, which is becoming a requirement for entering the nursing profession.”

With the increasingly complex care needed by patients and communities today, it is critical that nurses be prepared at a higher level. This is especially important for nurses licensed in New York state related to the newly passed BS in 10 legislation.

Roberta Rolland, PhD, RN, FNP, director of bachelor programs at the College of Nursing, says the online degree affords the working nurse greater flexibility and responds to the demand of the nursing population as a whole.

Students may now apply to this online-only program for the Spring 2019 semester. Students must complete 60 credit hours from a basic nursing program or an associate’s degree in nursing beforehand and must have a New York State RN license by the start of his or her second semester. The Upstate bachelor’s in nursing degree is 121 credits and will take students about 18 months to two years with full-time study or three to four years with part-time study. Upstate offers spring, summer and fall semesters and the program requires a 135-hour practicum.

The online program consists of wide variety of teaching tools including videos, voice-over PowerPoint lectures as well as open sessions through video conferencing. Students interact through discussion boards, blogs, forums and group activities. Students may participate in real-time, online sessions or watch the recorded version at a time more convenient.

This online baccalaureate program will be taught by Upstate professors and adjunct professors. The program was updated to strengthen areas of science, technology and population health. The online program is designed to engage students in meaningful community service and inter-professional education.

“My intention is for our program to excel in didactic quality and in opportunities to engage with communities to which our nurses serve,” Rolland said. The College of Nursing will elevate the professional development of nurses across the state, enabling nurses to remain in those communities to serve expanded populations.

“This program is exciting because it expands our capacity to educate professional nurses in the Upstate tradition and leverages the voice of nursing through outstanding education and clinical expertise,” Rolland said. “It’s not just about the degree, it’s about the purpose—caring for patients, serving the community, and enhancing the profession.

Current College of Nursing students will continue with the blended face-to-face and online Bachelor of Science program with the option to participate in online courses, if aligned with their program of study.

For more information about the College of Nursing’s new online-only Bachelor of Science program, contact the Office of Student Admissions and Financial Aid at 315-464-4570, by email at admiss@upstate.edu. For additional information about the program, contact Roberta Rolland at rollandr@upstate.edu.

Caption: College of Nursing Dean Tammy Austin-Ketch, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, left, with Roberta Rolland, PhD, RN, FNP, director of bachelor programs at the College of Nursing, said the new online bachelor of science degree program affords working nurses greater flexibility in the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in nursing.