The nursing department is changing to a four-year, on-campus bachelor’s degree program. Students who complete the program will receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The previous program offered two years of on-campus classes, allowing students to receive their Associates of Science in Nursing. They then took online courses to complete their bachelor’s.

Rachel Ardern, a professor in the nursing department, said the new program is something all nursing students can take advantage of.

“The previous program, the ASN program, allowed students to enter straight into the nursing program with little to no foundation in biology, chemistry, pharmacology and pathophysiology,” Ardern said. “The BSN program has pre-requisites students need to take before entering the program.”

Ardern said, for the most part, better science and technology enables acts and practices that will be more effective in producing health benefits.

“The more the nurse knows about sickness and health and the more refined the tools in his or her arsenal, the more effective will be the care he or she is able to provide,” Ardern said.

Ardern said the introduction of the Bachelor of Science Nursing program and the link to hybrid learning allows the program to help prepare students for nursing in the real world.

“The hybrid learning allows students to come prepared to class where activities are provided that promote application of learning as opposed to memorized or knowledge-based learning,” Ardern said. “This level of ownership holds students to a high standard of accountability.”

Ardern said the change in the program will allow the department to better serve the students while increasing the number of students within the program itself.

“This allows the nursing program to better match with the goals of the university,” Ardern said. “It also allows the program to better meet the needs of the nursing boards across America.”

Ardern said the school is slowly increasing the number of students that will be enrolled within the program.

“Students seeking to enroll in the program need to recognize that the nursing program is not going to be about remembering and regurgitating information, but rather comprehension and application,” Ardern said.

Ardern said the students will need to know the content of their courses and then be able to adapt that knowledge to a scenario.

“This course will stretch you, it will empower you and it will uplift you,” Ardern said.

Ardern said the vision of the Department of Nursing is to change lives through professional nursing, disciple leadership and caring.

Ardern said the department’s mission is to care through inspiration and professionalism; promote a high regard for quality, safety and collaboration; and innovate health practice.

Julia Bowles, a senior studying nursing, will graduate with the former program.

Bowles said in the older nursing program, she had to take online classes to complete the requirements.

“I have always wanted a bachelor’s degree, but, at the time, the university only offered an associate’s degree, along with online courses,” Bowles said. “I had to then take online classes to achieve my bachelor’s.”

Bowles said if the program would have been in place while she started her schooling, she would have taken that opportunity. She said it would have saved time and would have been more efficient.

“Employers are seeking nursing professionals who have a bachelor’s degree; that is one of the main reasons I want a bachelor’s degree,” Bowles said.

Bowles said there are more opportunities for nursing students with a bachelor’s degree to obtain higher-paying jobs and management positions.

The Department of Nursing Web page has a page that allows students to access more information about the Bachelor of Science Nursing program. The Web page answers questions about the new program.

The Web page has an application for those seeking a major in nursing. Students with further questions can visit