College of Nursing offers accelerated program

Sarah Cockrell

Everyone who has graduated from Kent State’s College of Nursing’s accelerated program is currently working.

“The program is very successful,” said Tracey Carlson, faculty and director of the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program.

The Kent State BSN accelerated program was started under Dean Davina Gosnell and Assistant Dean Connie Stopper.

In May the program will be accepting its third annual class.

The accelerated BSN program is a fast-paced, growing program designed to help prepare students to be professional nurses and to help in the nursing shortage, said Carlson.

“Nursing jobs are not difficult to find because of the nursing shortage,” Carlson said.

Nationwide, population growth, an aging nursing workforce and fewer students in nursing programs are all factors that contribute to the nursing shortage, according to the Nursing Society.

Currently, there are approximately 35 students enrolled in the Kent State accelerated BSN program.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for registered nurses will grow 23 percent by 2008. This rate is faster than the average of all other occupations.

“There are waiting lists for the 4-year program and any 2-year programs at other schools,” said Bonnie Greener, a student in the program.

Kent’s program is only for students who have already earned at least one baccalaureate degree. Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA in their most recently completed degree and in the pre-requisite science classes. Students must already be admitted to Kent State and have completed all the general LERS. They must also write an essay.

After the pre-requisites are complete, students usually begin the program in May and finish it in December of the following year.

“In the past, we only took admits in May,” Carlson said. “This year we are hoping to begin to admit a class each semester: fall, spring and summer.”

The course work includes classroom, lab work and clinical experiences in the hospital and community.

“The most challenging part of this program is the fact that it is difficult to work. Therefore, no salary is coming in for months,” said Denise Wrobel, a student in the accelerated nursing program, who has a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

The requirements are the same for an accelerated student as a traditional nursing student.

“Beyond financial reasons the program is challenging for the simple reason of taking all important core classes at one time,” Wrobel said. “We have a heavy course load every semester.”

Classes in the accelerated program are very demanding of student’s time.

“We recommend they be very committed and not work outside of school,” Carlson said.

At the end of the program, students are eligible to take the national licensure exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse.

“There are many people who might choose nursing but are unable to commit to a 4 year program if they have already attained a degree,” Carlson said. “This makes it possible to graduate early and become an RN with the resources to support themselves and their families.”

Contact on-campus medicine reporter Sarah Cockrell at [email protected].