ASC announces 4-year BSN program

(05-01-2009)

The Colorado Board of Nursing recently approved a new, four-year Bachelor's of Nursing program at Adams State College, according to Adams State Provost Michael Mumper.

"Many students want a four-year school with the full college experience. There has not previously been an on-campus option locally," said Dr. Aida Sahud, Adams State director of nursing. Adams State nursing students will complete clinical rotations at various hospitals in the San Luis Valley, other parts of Colorado, and New Mexico.

This program is in addition to Adams State's RN-to-BSN completion degree program, which is nationally accredited through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

"This adds an important level of education for nursing that our community, and even the state, needs," said Russ Johnson, CEO of San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center. "We now have the ability to offer CNA, LPN, ADN, ADN to BSN, and full BSN programs. This is an important continuum for attracting all kinds of students into clinical nursing and allows them to start at whatever level of program they choose. There's no doubt that our community, as well as Colorado and the country, will need more nurses in the future."

More than 200,000 nursing jobs are vacant nationally, and the shortage of registered nurses in the U.S. could reach as high as 500,000 by 2025, according to a report cited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The report found that the demand for RNs is expected to grow by 2% to 3% each year.

"This has been a work in progress for over 30 years. It's so wonderful to see it come to fruition," said Helen Lester, RN, BSN, OCN, Chief Nursing Officer at SLVRMC. "I recognize the extra dimension of nursing care that is provided by the baccalaureate-prepared nurse. I'm so thrilled to know that we will be able to offer this level of nursing education here in the San Luis Valley. I appreciate Adams State College supporting and standing by this critical healthcare training need."

Students admitted to Adams State will be eligible for the BSN program, which begins in spring 2010. During their first three semesters at Adams State, pre-nursing students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered for admission to the Nursing Major in the spring of their second year. Those wishing to be admitted for the spring 2010 semester are encouraged to begin the application process, which must be completed by August 1. Space in the program is limited to 30 students, Sahud said.

Caring for Colorado recently made a $100,000 grant to purchase simulation laboratory equipment for Adams State's nursing program. "This is cutting edge; you feel you are in a real hospital," Sahud said. The lab will include wireless patient mannequins, which can be programmed to simulate various ailments. The lab will also incorporate electronic charting, a new process designed to reduce errors in care.

In addition to numerous scholarships offered through the Adams State College Foundation, BSN students may apply for scholarships through the Colorado Friends of Nursing.

In 2004, Adams State initiated an RN-BSN completion degree program in collaboration with the SLV Nurses' Forum, Trinidad State Junior College, and other local health care agencies. It is geared to working adults who already hold a nursing license. Adams State developed both its nursing programs to increase the number of BSN nurses in rural Colorado and, thereby, improve the quality of health care. "The quality of health care has been found to be directly related to the educational level of nurses," noted Dr. Frank Novotny, Adams State associate provost for academic affairs.

For more information about the four-year BSN at Adams State College or to receive an application, please call 719-587-8171 or go to the website.

By Julie Waechter