Tarleton to offer online nursing degrees to RNs 

STEPHENVILLE (July 17, 2018) — For the first time, students at Tarleton State University will be able to earn a post-licensure nursing degree online with the start of the fall semester.

Aimed at registered nurses, the new degrees — pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board — will provide a high-quality, affordable education and rigorous training in a convenient online format.

Application deadline is Aug. 5.

“Tarleton wants to help registered nurses across Texas further their education in a way that works for their busy lives,” said Tarleton Provost Karen Murray. “As a student-focused university, we are committed to finding ways to meet the needs of our diverse body of students.”

The online degrees are a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, called an RN to BSN, and a Master of Science in Nursing.

Registered nurses who have an associate’s degree or diploma from an accredited nursing school can apply for the RN to BSN program, which can be completed in less than a year.

The master’s degree is open to registered nurses who have earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and want to pursue work in nursing education or nursing administration. That program can be completed in as little as two years.

Dr. Jennifer Yeager, assistant professor of nursing and director of the graduate nursing program, said the online degrees provide a career path for professionals.

“An online format best fits the needs of working nurses. Many professional nurses rotate shifts and have unpredictable schedules. They have family commitments and busy lives. Being in a physical classroom would be nearly impossible,” she said. “But they still want to find a way to further their careers and expand their earning potential. These degrees open a lot of doors and opportunities for registered nurses.”

Many of the courses will be eight-week sessions, allowing students to enroll in more than two classes a semester and complete their degrees quicker.

Dr. Mary Winton, interim head of the Department of Nursing, said faculty are preparing to teach online by participating in workshops to facilitate creation of the online coursework.

“As we set out to develop these online degrees, it was critical that we maintain our strong student focus,” Winton said. “We want our students, whether learning in a classroom or online, to know that we are here for them.”

Tarleton’s new degrees help address the state’s nursing shortage. By 2030 the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies estimates that Texas will have about 271,000 registered nurses but demand exceeding 330,000, leaving a deficit of nearly 60,000.

For more information on Tarleton’s nursing program, visit www.tarleton.edu/nursing.

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