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New RN-to-BSN program looks to create more care coordinators and outcomes managers among nurses

A new practice-based and system-focused approach providing registered nurses with a pathway to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree comes to the Creighton University College of Nursing later this year.A new practice-based and system-focused approach providing registered nurses with a pathway to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree comes to the Creighton University College of Nursing later this year.

The Creighton RN-to-BSN program is expected to fulfill multiple opportunities for the College and nurses throughout the region. Julie Manz, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing and chair of the BSN program, said as the health care system becomes more complex, patients and their families are in need of nurses with care coordination and leadership skills who can help navigate families through the process and act as advocates among diverse populations. Creighton’s program, unique to RN-BSN education, aims to prepare nurses in the areas of outcomes management, care coordination and transition, cost-quality initiatives, and population health management.

“It is going to offer something different and something that is in line with Creighton’s mission,” Manz said. “We see it as an opportunity to provide nurses with skills to improve patient outcomes through better coordination of care, from home to hospital, hospital to rehabilitation, rehabilitation back to home. Too often, I think nurses may see patients at a particular moment in time when they’re ill and don’t think enough of the holistic person. Creighton’s RN-BSN program is unique in that all of the courses are designed to provide the knowledge and skill to help patients transition across the health care continuum, and help families navigate the health care system. Health care is rapidly changing, community-based care is becoming more prevalent, and we thought it was important to have a degree where the focus is leadership and care coordination within the continuum of care.”

The program also encourages registered nurses, who may already have been practicing for several years, to think about the leadership roles they could assume to best serve their populations.

“The leadership development component is meant to invite some introspection,” Manz said. “We hope that nurses ask themselves if they see areas where they can best be of service and provide a stage from which they can give back.”

Additionally, the program arises to help meet the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Future of Nursing Report stating 80 percent of registered nurses should be baccalaureate-educated by 2020.

Toward that end, the entirely online program will consider a nurse’s work experience in determining the breadth and depth of required coursework toward the degree. A brief introductory seminar will also precede the coursework proper, helping students transition into the online classroom and giving them a primer on the Creighton mission.

Clinical experiences will be individualized to provide the students with an opportunity to apply the care management and leadership content directly to their places of employment.

Application are now being accepted. For more information, visit the College of Nursing website or call 402-280-2067.

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