On May 20, the UR School of Nursing is giving students a new opportunity to earn a second bachelor’s degree in nursing in only a year. In an attempt to offer a program fits with the current market and the profile of the average nursing student, the School of Nursing’s program is an intensive three-semester program that allows the student to sit for the national certification test.

In addition, this September will mark the start of an accelerated Master’s program that will allow non-nurses to earn a master’s degree in addition to a Bachelor of Science in nursing in three years. These students’ will also be able to sit for the national certification test for Nurse Practitioners along with the nursing certification test.

Unlike many nursing programs throughout the country, these programs are geared toward people who did not receive their original degree in nursing. “Before these programs started they would have to start at the beginning,” School of Nursing Director of Admissions Elaine Andolina said.

The requirements for both programs include a 3.0 GPA in their bachelor’s studies and completion of courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, human growth and development and nutrition. All majors are accepted and encouraged.

Students already enrolled in the program have majors as diverse as business, computer science and religious studies. People in varied occupations also are applying to the program.

“One man I have been talking to is 52 and has a background at Kodak,” Andolina said. “In nursing there are so many more options then just working as a staff nurse. It is not a very narrow field like many are.”

“What I see happening in career planning for market needs is an attempt to maximize flexibility,” said Rita D’Aoust, Director of Accelerated Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs for Non-Nurses.

According to D’Aoust, the programs are based on an adult-learning model that takes into account the basis of an already existent liberal education while making allowances for family life and part-time jobs. “These are more serious students who know what they want,” Andolina said.

This program also recognizes the changing face of health-care education and the growing demand for nurses, which is expected to reach levels of a million nurses by the year 2020, according to a variety of reports.

“Nursing evolves ? when it started out it was an apprenticeship model, then a collegiate model. I see this as another evolution,” D’Aoust said.

To kick off the recruitment efforts, the School of Nursing is holding an open house on March 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Hellen Wood Hall Lounge. There will be representatives from the different programs offered as well as local health-care employers.

Miller can be reached at amiller@campustimes.org.

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