​AURORA, Colo. – This spring, more RN-BS students than ever started their studies in the CU College of Nursing (CON).

The term kicked off last month with help from The Office of Student Affairs and Diversity. More than 200 potential students participated as things got rolling with an in-depth information session covering all the CON programs from RN-BS to PhD. New student orientations specific to the RN-BS and master’s programs also were held last month.

CON program admissions recently have increased due to important admissions requirement changes and more accessible clinical options, which have eased pressure for incoming students.

Although the RN-BS program has been in place for some time, the college is working with hospitals to recruit cohorts of RNs in addition to continuing with individual recruiting. The program uses state-of-the-art online education, complimented with face-to-face/webinar orientation and advising. Students can enter the program in either fall or spring cohorts, progressing with the same group through graduation, but each student can now choose an individual area of interest to focus on throughout his or her education, called the Continuum of Care Project (CCP). The clinical experience schedules also have become more flexible, benefiting students who were previously required to work in shifts.

The RN-BS program is quick: students complete the five courses in four terms, making it easier than before for RNs to progress toward their bachelor’s degree and to earn career benefits that come with a BS in nursing.

“The RN-BS courses are never static and are continuously reviewed to ensure that the content is up-to-date and relevant to the role of a BS-prepared nurse,” said Candace Berardinelli, PhD, RN (photo above). This helps the program continue to be dynamic, innovative, flexible, relevant and rewarding for RN students.

“The courses focus on topics relevant to all nurses – patient safety, quality of care, informatics, evidence-based nursing practice, care coordination/case management, population-focused care, health care ethics, health policy, and leadership,” Berardinelli explained.

The program is expected to continue growing: “We are hoping to recruit 70 students in the next cohort,” said Anapin Thielen, the RN-BS coordinator for the Student Affairs and Diversity team.

This shouldn’t be difficult based on some anonymous RN-BS student testimonials collected:

“This program helped me become a leader in my own work. I hope to continue growing and reaching a place every day that I can impact patient outcomes. I do plan on returning to school next fall.”

“A BS was one of my career goals from the beginning of deciding on nursing as a career. I know it will open many doors for me in the future. I think for opportunities at my workplace, it will broaden my choices for advancement.”

“The CCP project helped create dialog about diabetes care in my facility on the diabetes task force. Hopefully this will continue into the future and improve patient care.”

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