Thursday, August 16, 2012
Give Your Career the EDGE With New Program
Beginning this fall, registered nurses in Texas will have a more accessible way to earn a bachelor's degree.
Written by Beth Phillips
Students who enroll in the EDGE have 24-hour access to their classes and other areas of learning support.
The School of Nursing has launched The EDGE (Exploration, Discovery and Growth through Education), a new online program that will make it more convenient for registered nurses in Texas to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
The National Institutes of Health set a goal that 80 percent of registered nurses in the country earn at least a bachelor’s in nursing by 2020. According to the Texas Board of Nursing, 49 percent of Texas’ registered nurses currently have a BSN or higher.
Explore Advances in Technology
Melinda Mitchell Jones, MSN, J.D., R.N., associate professor and chair of the Department of Non-Traditional Undergraduate Studies in the School of Nursing, said it is important for nurses to continue their education to keep up with advances in technology, emerging practice-based evidence, and advancing roles of nursing in health care.
“Nurses that decide to complete their education at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center find that they are doing more than just checking a box off for their careers,” Mitchell Jones said. “They are gaining relevant knowledge that will position them to become better practitioners, to be successful in graduate school, and to assume an influential leadership role in their agencies. This course of study will give our graduates an EDGE in their careers.”
The EDGE offers a full-time two-semester track, a two-year part-time track and an accelerated six-month track. Because the courses are completely online, students have 24-hour access to their classes, online technical support, assistance in developing their degree plans and learning support. There are no required clinical hours, but instead students will have interactive and observational field experiences in their communities.
Grow Your Skills
Annette Jonatchek, R.N., a nurse educator in the neonatal intensive unit at University Hospital in San Antonio, received her BSN from TTUHSC in May. She said the program allowed her to transition from a staff nurse to a nurse educator, and has prompted her to seek her master’s in nursing education.
“People are hesitant to go back to school because they do have to work nowadays. Streamlining [the program], and realizing that [students are] already nurses, is a great aspect,” Jonatchek said. “The material taught in each class is information that you need every day in practice.”
“I thought the way the curriculum was set up on the Internet was fabulous. It gave detail to detail what was expected from students, and faculty were very accessible,” Jonatchek added. “All the instructors, even though it’s a distance program, are extremely accommodating and the feedback they provide each individual student is great. I am very happy that I am graduating from here.”
Other features of The EDGE include:
- Admission three times a year
- Self-paced virtual orientation starting in spring 2013
- Provisional admission for new graduates before sitting for the National Council Licensure Examination
- Small class size (1 professor to 35 students)
- Courses taught by faculty with advanced degrees
- Flexible degree planning
The School of Nursing is a nationally recognized educator of Texas BSNs. The first group of students to be enrolled in The EDGE will begin this fall.
Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.
School of Nursing
The School of Nursing began in 1979 with the development of the first nationally accredited Continuing Nursing Education Program in Texas.
With campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Dallas and the Permian Basin, the school offers a variety of programs:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing
- RN to BSN
- Second Degree Web-based BSN
- Veteran to BSN
- Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Midwifery
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Post Master's Nurse Educator Certificate Program
Connect with the School of Nursing on Facebook.