Online degree program helps nurses learn while working
DEGREE DAYS: Douglas Sherman, senior vice president and provost at the New England Institute of Technology, said the school believed that there was a need for “practicing RNs with associate degrees to have a flexible program in order to achieve their BSN degree.”
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
In March, Douglas Sherman, the senior vice president and provost at the New England Institute of Technology, saw his work to introduce an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program bear fruit when the program was accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
The program is conducted entirely online, with the exception of a final clinical capstone project, making it unique among Rhode Island nursing programs.
PBN: When did the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program officially start and why did the institute introduce it?
SHERMAN: It started in the fall of 2012. We introduced it because we believed that there was a need for practicing RNs with associate degrees to have a flexible program in order to achieve their BSN degree. All of the programs in the state that offer BSN degrees are substantially on-the-ground programs, so nurses have to be physically in the building or on campus at certain times. And we know that hospitals are pushing for the BSN degree as a nursing credential. So [nurses] can take this [program] one, two, or three classes at a time based on what they can handle in their lives.
PBN: How many students are in the program now and how many will graduate this May?
SHERMAN: There are 30 students enrolled. We have two graduates who took a full-time load and are part of our first cohort. The others in the first cohort took a less-aggressive schedule and are taking one class at a time.
PBN: Before NEIT even decided to pursue an online program, what was the market for college degrees telling you about the viability of a nursing program that is almost completely online?