As part of a five-year plan announced Monday, Queens University of Charlotte will consider expanding options for nursing students at its Presbyterian School of Nursing and phase out its two-year associate degree program.
The goal is to focus on providing higher-level nursing education at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree level. Here are the proposals:
--Offer scholarships to working registered nurses who wish to pursue four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. This includes a special scholarship fund for alumni of the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens and the former Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing.
--Increase the frequency of the online RN-to-BSN option by offering enrollment three times a year instead of once a year.
--Make it easier for practicing RNs with two-year associate degrees to progress to master's degrees by allowing them to count certain high-level classes towards both their bachelor's and master's degrees.
--Allow nurses pursuing master's degrees to complete the program online.
--Explore the creation of a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.
--Phase out the two-year Associate of Science in Nursing Program by May 2014.
Queens' associate-degree program had received several warnings since January 2009 from the N.C. Board of Nursing because too few graduates were passing the national licensing exam on the first try. The board returned the program to "full approval status" last week.
The Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens was formed in 2004 when Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing joined with the Vail Baccalaureate Program in Nursing and the Masters of Science in Nursing Program at Queens.
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