George Mason University’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is ranked as one of the best in the nation for registered nurses with two-year degrees seeking four-year degrees in nursing. Listed among the top 50 RN-to-BSN programs for 2015, the valuecolleges.com website notes that Mason, the largest public research university in Virginia, prepares students for the workforce by providing high-quality professional development through project-based courses.
The dedication and skills of Mason faculty members who teach online nursing classes to students are the reason for the program’s success, said Dr. Carol Urban, Director of the School of Nursing and an Associate Dean in the College of Health and Human Services. Teaching online takes a special skill—it’s not about just posting a few PowerPoint slides, she said. School of Nursing instructors take the time to engage with students through online message boards and email.
Mason makes the monetary and time investment pay off quickly for its students by allowing them to complete the program in as little as one year—the sooner they graduate, the sooner they can tap into higher marketability and higher pay, notes valuecolleges.com. Completing two seven-week classes, along with one semester-length class, allows Mason students to finish their degrees in a year. They take just three classes per semester instead of loading up on five, Urban said.
The program’s format also allows students to continue to work while in school, since many hospitals are asking their registered nurses to reach baccalaureate status. Medical societies such as the Institute of Medicine and the American Nurses Association have called for the four-year nursing degree to be the entry level for nurses giving bedside care. Others in the medical profession have campaigned for “80 by 20,” that is, to have 80 percent of working nurses holding baccalaureate degrees by the year 2020.
“It’s a noble goal, but we are slowly creeping up to it,” Urban said. “Mason’s RN to BSN pathway is one way we can help meet that 80 percent.”
Mason’s nursing program has long been aligned with this goal; when the School of Nursing opened its doors more than 40 years ago, its first offering was the RN to BSN pathway, she said.
Interested students can learn more about the program by visiting our Nursing (RN-to-BSN pathway) program profile.
This article originally appeared as “Mason’s Online Nursing Baccalaureate Degree Program Among Best in Nation” on the Mason News website.