The need for nurses continues to grow, and the shortage is especially dire in rural communities. To address that need, Kansas Wesleyan University and Salina Area Technical College are launching new programs to expand nursing education in the Salina area.
Salina Tech is planning to start a one-year Practical Nursing program in the fall of 2018, followed by a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing program in the fall of 2019. Both programs will require approval from the Kansas State Board of Nursing before they begin accepting students.
Kansas Wesleyan is starting a fully online R.N. to B.S. program beginning in January 2018. The program will allow nurses who already hold an unencumbered Registered Nursing license to leverage their experience to complete a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing in an accelerated study. The degree will expand opportunities for professional advancement.
“Salina Tech and KWU have been educational pillars in the region for a combined 182 years,” KWU President Matt Thompson, Ph.D., said. “Together, we are introducing programs that will meet a critical need for nurses in our region. These programs will increase the number of nurses, enhance the careers of nurses who want to advance into management, and give those who need health care more opportunities for quality care.”
The three nursing education programs in Salina – at Kansas Wesleyan, Salina Tech and the recently-announced program of the University of Kansas – are each “providing a different route into nursing,” said Salina Tech President Greg Nichols.
“We’re not competing with those two programs,” Nichols said. “We’re providing other options to get into nursing. “There’s a need in this community for Practical Nurses and Associate Degree Nurses.”
Practical Nurses have a wide range of skills and responsibilities, but not as many as a Registered Nurse. For example, under Kansas law, Practical Nurses are not allowed to administer intravenous anesthetics, sedatives or blood.
Students who successfully complete either an associate or bachelor program can sit for the licensure exam to become Registered Nurses, explained Rebecca Claus, R.N., M.S.N., Salina Tech’s newly-hired Director of Nursing, but a bachelor’s degree is often required to move into supervisory or management roles.
Students in KWU’s R.N. to B.S. program will be able to apply for up to 35 credit hours of experiential credit toward their degree. Once graduates of Salina Tech’s two-year program have spent time working in the field as Registered Nurses, they will be able to apply that experience toward their bachelor’s degree at Kansas Wesleyan.
“R.N. to B.S. students, who are often working and raising families, will have the convenience of a flexible online program, while still working with Kansas Wesleyan’s high-quality nursing education faculty,” said Director of Nursing Education at KWU Janeane Houchin, R.N., M.S.N.
About Salina Tech’s New Nursing Programs
- Practical Nursing Program will start in fall 2018 with 40-student capacity
- Associate degree program will start in fall 2019
About KWU’s New Online Nursing Program
- Online R.N. to B.S. with a major in Nursing will start in January 2018; applications are now being accepted; pre-requisite courses are available online this fall
- The program consists of nine courses offered in eight-week sessions with no classes in the summer
- Applicants can apply for up to 35 credit hours of experiential credit toward their degree
- For those with the maximum hours of transfer credits, the program can be complete in one calendar year of full-time study, under $14,000
- More information on the program can be found at kwu.edu/rnbs or by emailing [email protected]