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Bethel returns degree completion component to its nursing program

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College has expanded its nursing program to serve practicing nurses with registered nurse (RN) status who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The Higher Learning Commission, Bethel’s accrediting body, on July 29 informed Bethel President Perry D. White of its approval of the college’s application for accreditation of an RN-to-BSN program, to open this fall.

The online program is designed for the practicing registered nurse and builds on nurses’ previous education, said Phyllis Miller, Bethel director of nursing. The program will then augment past learning with content focused on the leadership role of the nurse while always relating course content back to the nurses’ own work environment.

Students in the program will focus on the changes that nursing is undergoing for 21st-century care delivery and how nursing practice is being shaped by technology and informatics as well as recent health-care legislation, Miller added. Students will also examine the use of evidence and how it shapes changing care parameters.

Clinical work in the program will include focus on the nursing role in community health and leadership in nursing – outlining effective strategies for clinical leadership in both settings and demonstrating effective use of the change process.

Clinical practicums in the two areas will broaden nurses’ experience and give them the opportunity to address a practice issue within their own work setting through completion of a final leadership project, Miller said.

“It’s been exciting to work on the re-launch of this program here at Bethel and to now broaden our services to the nursing community in the greater Newton, Wichita and Hutchinson areas and beyond,” she said. “Bethel’s nursing program has a rich tradition and history. The addition of the online RN-to-BSN program makes that tradition available to more practicing nurses looking to further their education and enhance their skills and learning.”

Bethel’s RN-to-BSN program is structured to cover an 18-month time period of three semesters plus one summer, totaling 34 hours of coursework. For more information or to apply, go to www.bethelks.edu/nursing or call 316-284-5308.

The first of several information sessions is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 6-8:30 p.m. in Seminar Room A in Schultz Student Center on the Bethel campus, open to any registered nurse interested in learning more. For directions, call the number above or see www.bethelks.edu/map/.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is in the first tier in its category in the “U.S. News & World Report” annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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