BY CELIA ZEVON
Starting this May, the Davis and Henley College of Nursing at Sacred Heart University will be introducing its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
This is a 15-month program for students with an existing bachelor’s degree, said Assistant Professor and Director of the First Professional Degree Program, Professor Michelle A. Cole.
“Students can apply to this program after completing a bachelor’s degree in another area of study after completing the required pre-requisite courses, within the past five years. In the First Progression Degree Program (traditional BSN program), students are accepted into the program without previously earned bachelor’s degree,” Cole said.
Dean of the College of Nursing Mary Donius said that the program will consist of traditional nursing programs as well as CIT 202, providing students with the eligibility to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). The program is going be fast-paced and condensed while offering the same opportunities as the traditional nursing program.
“Students will have clinical experiences similar to students in the First Professional Degree Program but in an accelerated format. They will have nursing labs, high fidelity simulation and clinicals within various healthcare settings. In addition, students will have the opportunity to apply for global clinical immersions to complete part of their required clinical hours,” said Cole.
There is a great deal of interest nationwide in second-degree acceleration programs.
“Current students and alumni have contacted us knowing our reputation, to see how they can come back and do a nursing program,” said Donius.
The College of Nursing will enroll 30 students each year for the accelerated program, and ten of those seats will be saved for Sacred Heart graduates.
“The faculty adapted our current curriculum to meet the accelerated program format,” said Cole. “Since our First Professional Degree Program is well developed and organized (and successful), the transition to the accelerated program was format adapted using the strengths in our current First Professional Degree Program.”
Sophomore Casey Winant is currently enrolled in the College of Nursing.
“I am proud to be a nursing student at Sacred Heart because it provides an excellent education with a strong support system of professors and students,” said Winant.
Nursingusa.org said that the national passing rate for the NCLEX-RN (Registered Nurse) is 72.1%. According to Sacred Heart’s website, the class of 2018 had a pass rate of 100% on the NCLEX-RN.
Sophomore Colleen Bertolini said, “The College of Nursing prepares students to take the NCLEX by having the Pharmacology and Foundations of Professional Nursing tests in the style of the NCLEX. Many people when taking the NCLEX for the first time are thrown off by this style of testing, however, by starting this style of testing sophomore year, the Sacred Heart College of Nursing prepares its students on how to take this test.”
Cole said that applications are due on March 1, 2020 and from there applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity.
“This is an exciting opportunity for individuals who earned a bachelor’s degree to enter the field of nursing. Our program’s unique, year-round format will guide you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to provide the highest quality nursing care to patients in a variety of clinical settings. I would encourage interested candidates to learn more about the second-degree Accelerated BSN program by contacting the Undergraduate Admissions office,” said Cole.
Donius said that if prospective nursing students have questions that they can contact her and she can put them in contact with herself, faculty, or staff to discuss a future in nursing.
“I would like to thank the faculty, students and alums that have promoted the reputation of nursing at Sacred Heart, and created buzz about our nursing program,” said Donius.