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Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Wyoming

In 2012 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) put forth a recommendation that 80% of nurses in the United States have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by the year 2020. The state of Wyoming put together a committee to begin the process of meeting this goal. The Nursing Education and Leadership in Wyoming (NELW) project is looking to revolutionize nursing education by implementing a shared, competency-based statewide curriculum so that students can move seamlessly through a BSN program.

Currently, only 36.9% of RNs in the state have a BSN or higher degree. That number is expected to drop due to the number of RNs currently in associate degree programs. The BSN degree path to RN licensure allows nursing students to better compete for nursing jobs in the state, and enjoy the pay differential made available to RNs educated at the bachelor’s level.

Unfortunately, there are barriers present that can make receiving a BSN in Wyoming more difficult than other states. Currently, there is only one baccalaureate-level pre-licensure nursing program in Wyoming. For this reason, the state has streamlined the BSN process by collaborating with community colleges to allow students to begin a BSN at a community college and continue at the university level. The university also offers an online BSN program to make it easier for students in other parts of the state.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing has also approved some out-of-state distance nursing education programs to make it easier to obtain a BSN within the state.

Enrolling in Wyoming’s Campus-Based Program or Opting for an Online Program

Currently, there is only one on-campus pre-licensure BSN nursing program available within the state. An online version of the program is available to graduates of ADN programs, making it more accessible for students who complete a nursing program online or at a two-year institution. There are also several community colleges that offer nursing programs that allow students to begin their BSN path before transferring to the university.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing has approved additional distance learning options from out-of-state schools.

Prerequisites of BSN Programs in Wyoming

The current campus-based pre-licensure BSN program in Wyoming maintains the following prerequisites:

  • Complete required math courses: College Algebra, Trigonometry, or Algebra and Trigonometry.
  • Complete Writing1 or Communication 1 and Writing 2 or Communication 2.
  • Complete NursingCAS application.
  • Have a “C” or higher for required courses.
  • Have a “C” or higher and minimum nursing grade point aveage (NGPA) of 2.50 on all completed core coursework.
  • Core courses cannot be repeated more than once.
  • No more than four core courses can be repeated.

BSN Course Outline

The BSN degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete. General education courses include, but are not limited to the following:

  • English
  • Math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • College Algebra
  • Nutrition

The nursing component of the BSN requires 63 credit hours of nursing related courses including:

  • Professional Nursing
  • Evidence Based Nursing
  • Leadership in Nursing
  • Adult Health
  • Nursing Practicum
  • Pharmacology
  • Care of Older Adults
  • Health Assessment
  • Leadership in Nursing
  • Cultural Diversity in Family Health Care
  • Mental Health and Illness

Clinical Experience

BSN students will be required to obtain clinical experience to complete the program. A criminal background check must be passed due to possible involvement with minors, elderly and/or individuals with disabilities.

Two of the possible sites for clinical nursing experience are:

  • Wyoming Medical Center – Casper
  • John’s Medical Center – Jackson

Exam, Licensing and Internship Opportunities After Graduation

The first step in obtaining an RN license after completing the educational requirements is to receive a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Steps to taking the NCLEX-RN include:

  • Submit application to Wyoming State Board of Nursing
  • Receive Authorization to Test from the Board
  • Register and pay for exam with Pearson VUE
  • Locate a test center

Once the NCLEX-RN exam is passed and the Board of Nursing receives documentation, a request can be made to receive the RN license. A sealed official degree transcript must be mailed with the RN license application.

Career Opportunities After Graduation

Nursing residency programs are available in Wyoming and are one of the best ways to transition from the classroom environment. According to the Wyoming Nurse Leadership Institute, 76% of health organizations surveyed are taking action to implement nursing residency programs. Two examples of institutions offering nursing residencies are:

  • Cheyenne Regional Hospital – Cheyenne
  • Wyoming Medical Center – Casper

BSN opportunities currently available in Wyoming include the following (February 2015):

  • Manager Obstetrics – St. John’s Medical Center, Jackson
  • Chief Nurse Officer – Core Medical Group, Guernsey
  • NCLEX RN Instructor – Kaplan, Cheyenne

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