A proposed accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program is waiting for approval from the California State Board of Registered Nursing, hopefully by the end of spring 2007, said professor and nursing program Director Martha Highfield.
The proposed component now called Accelerated-BSN, or A-BSN for short, will permit anyone with a baccalaureate degree in any field who has completed basic prerequisite science and psycho-science courses determined by the university to receive their BSN.
“It is the quickest way to produce quality, BSN-prepared nurses,” said Highfield.
The 15-month program will be an immersion experience consisting of more than 30 hours of classes per week in addition to clinical experience, Highfield said.
The 18 students who will be admitted to the program cannot work during their time in the program because of the high academic workload and intense responsibilities, she said.
It might be a bit harder for people without a nursing background because they have to get up to speed, especially when it comes to medical jargon, said Beck Espiritu, a first-year junior in the RN-to-BSN program.
“With the nursing shortage in California especially Southern California, (the A-BSN program) is a good idea, but it will only work for people who are willing to be dedicated to it,” Espiritu said.
Tiffany Piniones, who is also a first-year junior in the RN-to-BSN program, agreed with Espiritu.
“Unless the (potential) students in the A-BSN program don’t have to work, it might be doable if (he or she) is committed because the program sounds very difficult and time-consuming,” Piniones said. “My program is tough as it is, and I’m an RN who has been in the field for a while, but for someone with no nursing background and knowledge to complete a nursing program in less than two years ? that’s really intense.”
Currently, there are two components in the CSUN nursing program, and both are post-licensed programs that allow students to obtain a BSN.
One component is the School Nurse Credential Program, led by program coordinator and faculty adviser Martha Harmon.
CSUN is approved by the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing to offer all of the courses required for the Ryan School Nurse Credential.
A minimum of 24 units beyond the bachelor’s degree is required.
Completion in this program equips someone with the degree to become a school nurse, Highfield said.
Currently, there are 185 students in the SNC program.
The other component of the nursing program is called the RN-to-BSN, which means students are initially RNs upon entering the program with the intent of earning their BSN.
There are about 70 to 80 students in this program, which is led by Highfield.
“Most are part-time with six units per semester for three years,” Highfield said.
CSUN’s current nursing program with the addition of the new proposed A-BSN program is promoting nurses to get their BSNs, Highfield said.
“The majority of nursing programs in Southern California are still associate’s degrees,” she said.
CSUN’s nursing program stresses the importance of earning a BSN because it should supply a nurse with further knowledge and experience of the nursing field, said Piniones.
“It’s a good idea to get a bachelor’s in nursing because nursing is such a diverse career,” she said. “You can go into so many things ? it’s one of those careers where you can do a lot (and) pursue what you want to pursue.”
With the addition of the proposed A-BSN program, CSUN’s nursing program will give more people the opportunity to earn a BSN.
“Since it seems like there’s always a constant shortage of nurses, especially those with BSNs, the A-BSN program might help,” Piniones said. “It’s definitely a solution.”