Hodges University offers new degree – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report, “The Future of Nursing,” projecting the percentage of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to increase from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020 (80/20). The report acknowledges the need for the nursing profession to take a leadership role to meet the demands of our dynamic health care system. In an effort to meet the recommendations put forth by the IOM, many higher education institutions, including Hodges University, began to develop advanced degree programs for aspiring nurses.

Consistent with 80/20 goal, Hodges University announced its plan to offer a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program starting January 2018. Approved by the Florida Board of Nursing, the program will be offered through the university’s School of Health Sciences. The university has also developed approved programs in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) based on input from local employers and information from the Workforce Now regional labor market studies.

Dr. William Griz, dean of the School of Health Sciences, explained, “The mission of Hodges’ nursing program is to develop knowledgeable, caring, principled nurses with a commitment to excellence by delivering the highest quality, holistic care to diverse patient populations.” Overseeing Hodges’ nursing program is Dr. Holly Madison, director of nursing in the School of Health Sciences. With more than 25 years of nursing experience, Madison has served as a Critical Care staff nurse, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse and hospital staff educator.

Making the decision to move into academia, she used her professional experience and knowledge to develop, direct and teach nursing programs at Southern Vermont College, Maria College and Excelsior College before accepting the director of nursing position at Hodges in fall 2016. “We want this program to be the start of the next great thing here at Hodges,” Madison said. “What we provide our students is individualized attention with a contemporary nursing curriculum.”
Students who choose to pursue a degree in Hodges’ nursing program will be required to complete 60 hours of pre-nursing credits, which can be obtained through an Associate in Science degree in biomedical sciences or through transfer credits that meet the pre-nursing component.

Students who wish to earn an associate degree in biomedical sciences will complete four semesters of full-time study in the
nursing track. The pre-nursing component provides students with the general education and prerequisite science courses needed to successfully complete the program in preparation for the nursing track. Students must complete at least 30 pre-nursing credits before applying for admission into the BSN program.

• A 2.5 GPA
• Grades of “C” or higher in all science courses
• An overall score of 75 in the Assessment
Technologies Institute’s (ATI) Test of Essential
Academic Success (TEAS)

Once a student completes the pre-nursing component, he/she will seek acceptance to begin the BSN program, which consists of four full-time, consecutive semesters focused on the art and science of nursing. Students will learn and develop the necessary skills and knowledge of a professional nurse by incorporating theoretical, laboratory, simulation and clinical experiences. The first cohort for the BSN program will begin January 2018, and the second cohort will begin September 2018. The maximum number for each cohort is 24. The BSN is only offered on Hodges’ Naples campus during the evening and weekend days, and the nursing core classes are designed to be taken as a cohort.

“We understand our students have busy lives, so apart from the flexibility of classes, the way our program is set up allows for students to enter the workforce much quicker,” Madison explained. Graduates of the program will not only receive a
solid foundation, but they will also be equipped with the necessary tools to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree. The program also prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) and obtain licensure as a registered nurse.

To learn more about the program, interested individuals are encouraged to contact Hodges’ Office of Admissions at 800.466.8017 or Maria Vacca in the School of Health Sciences at 239.598.6285

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