Virginia State University (VSU), located in south Chesterfield County, has received approval from the State Council of Higher Education Virginia (SCHEV) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program. The fully on-line part-time program is designed for working Registered Nurses (RNs) who currently have a hospital diploma or associate degree as their highest nursing credential. These degree completion RN students will complete the requirements for the BSN through a 30 credit upper level curriculum. This will be the first fully on-line degree program offered at VSU.
As a historically black college with a nursing program, VSU is focused on rural nursing and rural healthcare practices. The BSN completion program was developed in response to the demand for the BSN-prepared RN to address the need for healthcare professionals who through interprofessional collaboration and academic partnerships, are prepared to provide culturally sensitive patient centered care in a variety of healthcare practices including inpatient, outpatient and community settings. The need is very apparent in the rural community where there are less BSN-prepared RNs.
The BSN completion program will provide educational access for RNs to become nurse generalists with an emphasis on rural nursing services in Southside Virginia and beyond. RN students will study technological influences on health care as related to health promotion, early diagnosis, management of chronic disease, evidence-based practice, financial and legislative influences, and the overall effect of the built environment affecting patient centered care. The RN will develop enhanced communication skills with interprofessional teams to include but not limited to medicine, pharmacy, social work, and dietitians in order to provide quality safe and effective patient centered care across the lifespan in a variety of settings. Nursing graduates of the historically black college's program will be prepared to work in mid-level nursing leadership positions in primary, secondary, acute care, long term care, governmental and non-governmental settings. The RN will deliver culturally sensitive nursing services to rural and urban residents in all practice settings.
The curriculum has been developed in alignment with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN), “The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice.” VSU's goal is to be one of the best biology programs in Virginia, and graduates of this program will be prepared to work in any healthcare facility requiring their nurses to have the BSN degree. Magnet hospitals require all nurse managers and nurse leaders to hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing. The US Armed Services requires the baccalaureate degree to practice as an active duty RN. The Veteran’s Administration, the nation’s largest employer of RNs, has established the baccalaureate degree as the minimum preparation for promotion beyond the entry-level staff nurse.