Muskingum College has announced plans to develop a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program. The program, which expands the number of degree choices for students at Muskingum, will be offered to both traditional undergraduate students in either a residential or commuter setting, and also as part of the Muskingum Adult Program (MAP) to persons currently holding the R.N. licensure.
"In planning this nursing program, Muskingum recognized the needs of the nation and the southeastern Ohio region," said Dr. Anne C. Steele, Muskingum College President. National reports indicate that by 2010 there will be a critical shortage of registered nurses, one which will grow to 2.8 million by 2020. In southeastern Ohio, there is a particular shortage of nurses who hold baccalaureate degrees. At present there are too few openings in B.S.N. programs to accommodate the demand from prospective students, and this problem could worsen in the future as the need for nurses continues to grow. In this region of Ohio, there are no residential B.S.N. programs. The creation of Muskingum’s program will address these issues.
The program will combine the best of Muskingum’s liberal arts and sciences with a structured nursing curriculum to build a comprehensive B.S.N. experience.
The clinical component is being designed to exceed required standards, and Muskingum College officials have begu discussions with both the Genesis Health Care System in Zanesville and the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center in Cambridge about providing clinical opportunities for students.
Medical experts from these organizations are excited about the possibilities created by having a B.S.N. program in the region, where the students’ educational experiences will involve critical thinking, problem-solving, communications and exposure to today’s technology. Muskingum has begun the process of seeking approval of the nursing program from the Ohio Board of Nursing and the Ohio Board of Regents, and will ultimately seek accreditation from the North Central Association and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Successful completion of the program will allow students to sit for the exams leading to the R.N. license.
Dr. Judy Strayer has been hired as founding director, and will lead the program development. Dr. Strayer is a licensed nurse and has extensive experience as a nursing faculty member and program administrator. She has a Master of Science degree in Nursing and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from The Ohio State University, and is widely respected both statewide and nationally for her expertise in nursing education.