East Georgia State College has recently been notified of the accreditation of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The ACEN Board of Commissioners officially voted on EGSC’s program during their March 2019 meeting, and the accreditation is effective January 31, 2018.
ACEN is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency for nursing education programs located in the United States and its territories. It is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for nursing education programs in the United States and its territories as well as international nursing programs. ACEN accredits all types of nursing programs, including clinical doctorate/DNP specialist certificates, master’s/post-master’s certificate, baccalaureate, associate, diploma and practical nursing programs, and accredits programs in secondary, postsecondary, and hospital-based governing organizations that offer certificates, diplomas or degrees. The organization exists to support the interests of nursing education, nursing practice and the public by the functions of accreditation, which is a voluntary, peer-review, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality. Accreditation also assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved. The monitoring of certificate, diploma, and degree offerings is tied closely to state examination and licensing rules and to the oversight of preparation for work in the profession.
EGSC’s RN-BSN Bridge Program began in 2016 to create an educational pathway for associate degree nurses to earn an advanced credential. The program appeals to working nurses and recent associate degree in nursing graduates and is a targeted baccalaureate-level program that fills an immediate need in the area. The program consists of 120 credit hours and requires students to have an unrestricted State of Georgia registered professional nursing license and must meet all requirements and be accepted under regular admission status to EGSC with the RN-BSN Program as their designated major. To be accepted into the program, potential students must have graduated from an associate degree or diploma registered nurse program, have a minimum 2.5 GPA and grade of C or higher in all pre-requisite courses, and must have completed all required core courses. Students may petition the nursing program director for special consideration if all core courses are not completed. Students are admitted into the RN-BSN Bridge Program based on competitive selection and space availability.
As a student in EGSC’s RN-BSN Bridge Program, students will enjoy a streamlined admission process, convenient online courses, state-of-the-art curriculum delivery, convenient and flexible class scheduling designed for working nurses, highly-qualified and accessible faculty, a student-centered learning environment and strong academic support. The program gives students a professional advantage with minimal disruption to their hectic work schedule and busy lifestyle, allowing them to remain employed while learning the valuable skills necessary to pursue a higher level of nursing practice. Upon graduation, EGSC’s RN-BSN Bridge Program students will have greater job security, earn more money and be better qualified to meet the demands of today’s dynamic healthcare environment—without breaking the bank in the process. At only $5,000 for the program, EGSC’s RN-BSN Program was named the most affordable online college for nursing degrees by OnlineU in 2019.
The program celebrated its first cohort of graduates in the Fall of 2018, with ten nurses crossing the stage to receive their degree. The second cohort of 13 graduates from the program will walk this Friday, May 10, 2019 during the Spring Commencement Ceremony and receive their degrees.
“We are so proud to have been awarded accreditation. This recognition assures our students and the public that the education they receive from the EGSC RN-BSN Bridge Program will prepare them for safe practice in an increasingly challenging health care environment. And, it does not stop with this initial accreditation. The program will perform a continual evaluation of outcomes and make improvements to maintain the highest quality standards required by the ACEN,” said Dr. Linda Upchurch, Director of the BSN Program at EGSC. “The development of this program reflects the desire of our administration, faculty, and staff to meet the nursing needs in our communities. We are proud to have affiliations with local technical colleges who offer the associate degree in nursing. By offering the RN-BSN Bridge, students with the associate in nursing degree can smoothly transition to the BSN degree. These nurses will go on to practice in management and leadership positions to positively impact the healthcare services in our communities. Many of our graduates will go on to seek advanced practice degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing for nurse practitioners or a Master of Science in Nursing Education. However, most of them state that achieving the bachelor’s degree is simply a matter of personal satisfaction and meeting a long-time personal goal.”
“So far, our students come from 17 different towns in 13 different surrounding counties in the state,” Dr. Upchurch continued. “However, the program is not limited to our geographical area. Due to the fully online nature of the program, students from all over the state of Georgia, and even nationwide (depending on state nursing education requirements), can attend our program. We look forward to growing and expanding our reach into the rest of the state and the country, in general.”
EGSC President Dr. Bob Boehmer added, “All of the students in this program are currently working health care professionals. We are extremely proud that East Georgia State College is able to serve these outstanding professionals as they enhance their professional careers as well as health care in our region. In combination with the nursing programs offered by Southeastern Technical College, EGSC and STC have been able to dramatically improve nursing education opportunities in our region in recent years. Congratulations to Dr. Upchurch and her team for achieving this important milestone.”
“EGSC has developed an outstanding RN-BSN program that responds to state needs for nurses who are prepared at the baccalaureate level,” said Dr. Deborah Vess, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. “The award of accreditation from ACEN is a significant step forward for the College and the program that will benefit students in their careers at the College and in the work force.”
For more information about EGSC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, visit www.ega.edu/nursing or contact Dr. Upchurch at firstname.lastname@example.org.