Lynchburg College offers new program for nurses

(Altavista Journal) Lynchburg College will offer registered nurses the opportunity to pursue the Master of Science in nursing without having first completed a bachelor’s degree, the college announced last week.

The registered nurse to Master of Science in nursing pathway program will begin this fall and is the first in Central Virginia.

The program has been developed to address the nursing shortage and improve patient care through expanded educational opportunities. 

Nursing education is receiving national attention thanks to mandates from accrediting agencies.  The Magnet system, an accrediting body for hospitals, is requiring that 100 percent of nurse managers have a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing, effective Jan. 1, 2013, and that all nurses who are in supervisory positions receive a master’s in nursing by 2020.

In addition, the Institute of Medicine has made recommendations that by the year 2020, 80 percent of all nurses will hold a Bachelor of Science in nursing and the number of doctoral-prepared nurses double in the United States.

The majority of nurses nationally and in Virginia do not have bachelor’s degrees. About 62 percent of all licensed registered nurses in Virginia hold either a diploma in nursing or an associate degree.

Applicants to the Lynchburg College program will have completed prior comprehensive training in nursing, successfully passed the licensure exam and completed extensive general studies coursework.