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The Washington State Univer­sity (WSU) College of Nursing is revising the curriculum for its RN to BSN program to better meet the needs of nurses and commu­nity partners. The new curriculum gives working nurses more flexi­bility and the chance to deeply research topics of interest, and better aligns with nursing educa­tion in commu­nity colleges.

Changes already imple­mented include replacing 180 required on-site clinical hours with 100 hours of practice experi­ence gained by completing a community/​population health project and a practicum project that can focus on areas such as leader­ship, popula­tion health, evidence-based practice or infor­matics. This fall, the program will intro­duce new courses on health care infor­matics and care coordination. 

In 2010, the Insti­tute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) recom­mended that 80% of RNs have bachelor’s degrees by 2020. While Washington state hasn’t achieved that goal yet, it’s close: a 2019 study by the Washington Center for Nursing found that 70% of nurses surveyed had baccalau­reate degrees or higher, and 76% among the 19 to 29 age group. 

Since its creation in 1990, more than 1,700 regis­tered nurses who had a hospital diploma or an associate degree have been able to earn a bachelor’s degree through the program.

WSU’s RN to BSN program is offered statewide in a mostly online format, and students can begin the program any semester. Visit the WSU College of Nursing website for more infor­ma­tion on the program.