The Texas Board of Nursing recently approved Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s traditional four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that will begin in spring 2017.
The university will begin accepting applications for the program in November. The traditional BSN will require 120 credit hours. Students must complete a two-year pre-nursing curriculum prior to beginning the traditional BSN track.
Clinical courses will utilize state-of-the-art high-fidelity simulation and skills practice in the laboratory. Students will be placed in local hospitals and other healthcare agencies in the region for direct patient care experience.
“Quality patient care depends on having a well-educated nursing workforce,” said Dr. Kathy Missildine, associate dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and director of nursing at A&M-Texarkana. “We are excited to offer this new program, which will complement our existing RN to BSN transfer degree and Master of Science in Nursing program and provide an additional option for students who desire careers in healthcare.”
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Research has shown that lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors and positive outcomes are all linked to nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels.”
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has recommended increasing the proportion of nurses with a bachelor’s degree to 80 percent by the year 2020.
“We plan to admit 30 students in the first cohort,” Dr. Missildine said. “In the second year, we plan to admit an additional 35 students and another 40 students in the third year.”
The university will receive $1.8 million in state funding in 2016 and 2017 to expand its Nursing Department to meet the needs of students and the regional medical community.
The university recently broke ground for a new academic complex that will include space for classrooms, a skills and simulation lab, and faculty offices for the new program. The new Building for Academic and Student Success is expected to open in fall 2019.
“The traditional BSN program will accommodate students who want a four-year university experience and a nursing degree,” A&M-Texarkana President Dr. Emily Cutrer said. “Many of our best and brightest students in the region will now have one more reason to stay here and make significant contributions to our local economy. Because we are a destination campus, we also will attract students from outside of the region who desire a four-year nursing degree.”
“A&M-Texarkana is dedicated to providing outstanding opportunities for students who wish to pursue careers in healthcare fields and for the medical community in our four-state region,” said Dr. Don Peterson, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “The traditional BSN degree will give students the benefit of high-quality instruction in a supportive and enriching classroom environment.”