12/28/11 — Mount Olive College to offer new nursing degree program

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Mount Olive College to offer new nursing degree program

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 28, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A new nursing program being introduced at Mount Olive College in January is expected to be popular one.

The "RN to BSN," or bachelor of science degree in nursing program, targets registered nurses who already hold an associate degree or diploma and want to advance in their careers.

"It's definitely a go," said David Hines, dean of the school of arts and sciences. "I believe, by my last count, we have 30 students that have been accepted into the program."

The program starts Jan. 9, Hines said, but new classes will be offered every five weeks so there will be "rolling admissions."

"We'll be starting another class in February, then March, so we have multiple start dates," he explained.

"Every semester we divide into three five-week terms. It's designed so that students can take one course for each of those three terms and they can do that in online format. It definitely works better with their schedules."

Like many of the adult programs MOC is becoming known for -- offering classes at time conducive for working adults -- the "RN to BSN" is structured predominantly online to more easily work into busy schedules.

"With nurses working a different night each week or different days, we had to come up with something that would work with their schedules," Hines said. "I think we have got it.

"Every course in the program will be offered online. They could opt to take some of the courses in a seated format, but we believe most of them will take it online."

It features such classes as Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System, Nursing Management, Social and Cultural Issues in Health Care and Global Perception of the Health Care System. The program requires 49 semester hours and is designed to be completed in five semesters. With the college running on three semesters a year, students can conceivably finish in less than two years, Hines says.

"We're constantly looking for an answer to the question, 'What's next?'" he said. "We have so many professional nurses who have their registered nurse (training), but never completed their bachelor of nursing. Maybe they have reached a ceiling in their careers. That's one push.

"With the budget crunch that we're in right now, state schools and other schools have had to cut out their RN to BSN program. We're trying to jump into that void."

The addition is also in line with the mission of MOC, Hines said.

"One of the three main components of our college mission is that we will serve our community," he said. "I cannot think of a more effective way to serve our community than to help nurses improve their skills and advance their careers. Better nurses mean better services for everybody."

The dean said he has been pleasantly surprised by the response to the announcement on the latest addition at the college.

"I can tell you this, there's a lot of buzz," he said. "My phone is ringing off the hook.

"I haven't seen a program start out with this kind of enthusiasm and I have been at this college for 23 years."

That says a lot about the college and what it offers the communities it serves.

"And it says something about the need, too," Hines noted.