West Virginia is committed to promoting the advancement of ADN-prepared registered nurses in the state, encouraging RNs to further their education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
In fact, the West Virginia Center for Nursing was created in 2005 for the specific purpose of supporting the education, recruitment, and retention of nurses in West Virginia. A 2011 West Virginia Nursing Educational Mobility and Articulation Model developed by the Center for Nursing revealed a number of goals, including facilitating the educational mobility of nursing students and the nursing workforce in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses reported that at the end of 2010, there were 19,540 licensed RNs in West Virginia, an increase of more than 6,000 since 2000. Of these licensed RNs, 6,352 held bachelor degrees during this time.
Registered nurses remain the largest group of licensed health care providers in West Virginia. WORKFORCE West Virginia has recognized registered nurses as a demand occupation between 2012 and 2022, with estimated employment numbers projected to reach 22,080 by 2022.
Bachelor Degree Programs for Practicing RNs in West Virginia
Completing RN to BSN programs allows RNs to practice across all healthcare settings and prepares them to take on advanced roles in management, governance, leadership, and research.
In addition to satisfying many hospitals’ appeals for more bachelor-prepared RNs, many nurses go on to complete BSN programs as a way to prepare for MSN or DNP programs, in preparation for advanced roles such as clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, nurse practitioner or other APRN roles.
Just a few of the goals of an RN to BSN program include:
- Understanding how components of diversity impact health and health care
- Using effective communication skills that are consistent with the role of the professional nurse
- Applying professional nursing management and leadership skills to coordinate comprehensive healthcare
- Applying an increased depth of knowledge in managing clients with acute and complex health problems
There are currently 11 RN to BSN programs in West Virginia, six of which are public universities and three of which are private. The West Virginia Board of Examiners of Registered Nurses maintains a current list of these programs. Many of the programs are offered on a part-time basis, and many allow currently practicing RNs to complete the program completely online.
Just a few of the RN to BSN programs in West Virginia are located in:
- West Liberty
RN to BSN Prerequisites and Program Structure
The typical entrance requirements for an RN to BSN program include:
- A current, unrestricted RN license
- An overall GPA of 2.5 or better from their associate degree program
Other eligibility requirements may include the completion of specific general studies classes and letters of reference.
RNs entering a progression program will have already satisfied many of the general education requirements (GED). This means students in RN to BSN programs can complete all degree requirements in as few as three semesters.
Core coursework in an RN to BSN program includes:
- Framework for professional practice
- Health assessment and promotion across the lifespan
- Trends and issues of health care informatics
- Legal and ethical issues in nursing
- Evidence-based practice in professional nursing
- Leadership and management in professional nursing
- Community and population based healthcare
Universities offering RN to BSN programs often have cooperating healthcare agencies where clinical experiences can be completed. Just a few of the agencies that facilitate the clinical portions of RN to BSN programs include:
- Charleston Area Medical Center hospitals, including:
- CAMC General Hospital
- CAMC Memorial Hospital
- CAMC Teays Valley Hospital
- CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital
- David Lee Cancer Center, Charleston
- Highland Hospital, Charleston
- Hubbard Hospice, Charleston
Hospitals in West Virginia That Support RNs Pursing BSN Programs
In an attempt to build a staff of highly qualified RNs in West Virginia, many hospitals now offer their RNs opportunities to pursue BSN programs through tuition reimbursement and related programs. A few examples of institutions that provide such opportunities include:
WVU Healthcare in Morgantown offers RNs pursuing their BSN tuition assistance, which provides reimbursement up to a specific dollar amount following one full year of employment.
Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Health System offers a number of opportunities for RNs completing BSN programs. The CAMC Foundation Nursing/Allied Health/Medical Students Scholarship provides scholarships for those seeking additional education in healthcare.
The West Virginia Center for Nursing offers scholarships of up to $7,500 for practicing RNs who want to pursue their BSN.
St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington offers tuition assistance for its employees, thereby facilitating RNs who want to return to school to achieve their BSN.