TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 13 U.S. Labor Department analysts predict that by 2012 the country will need 1 million nurses to care for the more than 60 million aging baby boomers population. By 2016, it is estimated that 587,000 new nursing jobs will be created nationwide - the largest number of new jobs created in any industry.
Institutions of higher learning, such as Jacksonville University (JU), are developing nursing degree programs to not only meet the needs of the healthcare industry but also the needs of those seeking the degrees. JU's online RN to BSN program is run in conjunction with the University Alliance (UA), the largest facilitator of e-learning in the country.
The challenge for registered nurses who are working but want to earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is how to schedule courses around their work schedules and other commitments. This is particularly true for traveling nurses, who typically work 13-week shifts then move on to another assignment, often in another locale.
Jacksonville University's administrators understand that traveling nurses do not want to put their education and careers on hold. JU's online BSN program is designed to overcome scheduling obstacles, and its administrators cite the following reasons why traveling nurses are choosing online programs like theirs:
1. A bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree makes a traveling nurse more marketable. Additional fields open up, including medical-surgical, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and many others.
2. Traveling nurses usually earn a higher hourly rate and can earn even more with a BSN. Pay scales range from $21 to $42 per hour, plus benefits.
3. An online program allows nurses to study while they travel. E-learning systems such as JU's provide the same information, material and degree as offered in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, a recent Department of Education study showed that, for adults, online learning is more effective than face-to-face learning, on several measures.
4. Online BSN programs are as flexible as the lifestyles of its students. "I am able to continue to work full-time and go to school part-time," said Candice Jewett of Massachusetts. "I have been able to work full-time and maintain a 4.0 in my online classes."
5. An online BSN program allows the flexibility to take sessions off. There are six 8-week sessions in a year, so students can tailor the program to match their own schedules. Students can opt to attend part-time and take off a session or two if needed.
6. Students can complete their BSN at their own pace. Most students complete the online BSN course in about two years.
7. Practice projects (clinicals) can be completed wherever there is a BSN-trained nurse. No travel is required to complete practice projects. At JU, two courses require projects, which are self-directed and allow students to work one-on-one with mentors.
8. Money is available to pay for nursing school. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing's "Scholarships and Financial Aid Resources for Nursing Students" is a good place to start. Also, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. Individual states also may offer grants and loans. JU offers a helpful resource on how to pay for nursing school.
9. Many traveling nurse agencies offer tuition benefits. American Mobile Healthcare, NursesRx, Medical Express, RN Demand, Platinum Select, Nurse Choice and Preferred Healthcare Staffing have partnered with the University Alliance. A 10 percent tuition discount from JU and UA is available to traveling nurses who work for these agencies.
10. An Internet connection is all that's needed to get started. "The JU website is easy to access at any computer - whether I'm at home, at a friend's house or at the hospital," said Susan Cardona of Massachusetts.
For more information about JU's online RN to BSN program, visit http://www.jacksonvilleu.com.
About Jacksonville University
Founded more than 70 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville University has more than 18,000 alumni. With students from 44 states and 55 foreign countries, the university offers seven bachelor's degrees in more than 30 areas. JU offers one of the largest online RN to BSN degree programs in the country and is recognized as one of the nation's foremost teaching institutions. The School of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Jacksonville University was named one of "America's Best Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2009 by U.S. News & World Report.
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Contact: Sandy Levine, VP of Marketing Services Jacksonville University Online/University Alliance Partner 813-621-6200 http://www.jacksonvilleu.com
SOURCE Jacksonville University Online