Rhode Island’s Future of Nursing Campaign for Action team was established to help initiate the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation that 80% of all nurses hold a BSN degree by 2020.
In response, a bridge course was developed and is being offered at several schools in Rhode Island to help ADN-educated RNs transition to BSN completion programs. The bridge course is designed to give students a head start on their studies towards the BSN. Several schools within the state have launched online RN-BSN programs designed to be easily accessible to working RNs. The committee is also exploring implementing residency programs within hospitals that will result in academic credit that can be applied towards a BSN degree. All of these actions will help make the transition from RN to BSN more attainable than it has been in the past.
Hospitals within Rhode Island are already preparing for the 2020 deadline by supporting current nursing staff by offering flexibility in scheduling, and often even offering tuition reimbursement for RNs going back to school to complete a BSN program.
Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in Rhode Island
The new Institute of Medicine recommendations have resulted in RN to BSN programs becoming more available to a full time workforce by offering most or all of the coursework online. RN’s now have the ability to schedule classes virtually any time of the day to accommodate busy schedules. Accelerated programs are also available.
Every RN-BSN program will have its own specific requirements for entry but the general standard requirements within Rhode Island include:
- Completion of college mathematics and writing requirements
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50
- Current RN license
- Current clinical practice experience
Upon completion of the minimum requirements to enroll into a BSN program, prospective students will have the choice of online schools and traditional classroom schools within the following cities, among others:
- East Greenwich
RN to BSN programs are designed specifically for students who have already earned an ADN. Because of this, RN-BSN students receive an average of 37 transfer credits for the ADN that is applied towards the 120 credits required for a BSN degree. Coursework includes a general education curriculum as well as the following nursing related coursework:
- Introduction to Writing and Research in Nursing
- Physical Assessment of the Adult and Child
- Public and Community Health Nursing
- Issues and Challenges in Contemporary Nursing Practice
- Maternal Newborn Nursing
- Transition to Professional Nursing Practice
- Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
- Contemporary Professional Nursing
Clinical experience may be required in addition to coursework and is usually completed at an area hospital. Two hospitals in Rhode Island where BSN clinical credits can be completed include:
- Rhode Island Hospital – Providence
- Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island – Pawtucket
Rhode Island Hospitals that Help Support RNs entering RN-BSN Programs
Rhode Island hospitals are becoming aware of the importance of staffing BSN educated nursing personnel. With the 2020 IOM standards looming, a sample of hospitals that are offering incentives to attract BSN’s include the following:
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island –Pawtucket
Memorial Hospital understands the importance of continuing education and encourages RN’s to pursue a BSN degree by offering generous tuition reimbursement. The Nursing Department is also affiliated with many nursing colleges throughout Rhode Island which assists in a more seamless move from RN to BSN. Professional development is also promoted with internships and the following opportunities:
- Preceptor programs
- Nursing Grand Rounds
- Critical Care Consortium classes
- Certification Review courses
Miriam Hospital – Providence
Miriam Hospital was named the top hospital for the second consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report. The hospital has partnerships with local nursing programs and offers onsite RN to BSN programs and onsite clinical nurse leader training. In addition it offers a certification reimbursement program and tuition reimbursement program. This hospital makes it easier than ever to advance and succeed in the nursing field.
Newport Hospital – Newport
Ranked #2 in Rhode Island by U.S. News & World Report, Newport Hospital has high patient satisfaction, which can be party attributed to a world class nursing staff. The hospital offers education assistance for selected clinical positions.
Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital– Providence
Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital offers full time United Nurses & Allied Professionals generous tuition assistance. Full time UNAP employees can have 100% of tuitions costs reimbursed up to $2,500 per calendar year towards BSN program courses. Part-time employees are offered prorated assistance after six months of employment. In addition, conference fees of up to $500 per calendar year are a reimbursed for continuing education courses.