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.