The UT Arlington School of Nursing has a long standing tradition of establishing new programs that have a reputation of excellence and offer students resources to support their successful graduation to become BSN-prepared RNs working in the health care delivery system in Texas and beyond. We are offering a second option for enrolling in either the RN to BSN program for nurses who already hold an Associate Degree or Diploma or the initial licensure program for individuals seeking an initial licensure BSN program. We are retaining the traditional semester-based programs while at the same time offering the 2 new online programs that are non-semester-based. We therefore have 4 undergraduate options: the RN to BSN, the AP RN to BSN, the BSN and the AP BSN programs, as described below. While we still maintain our traditional 15 week semester undergraduate programs, our faculty have restructured the curriculum into the modular blended delivery models that are not semester-based.
Initial Licensure BSN
This last year we had great success in putting our RN to BSN program into an online 13-month modular format. The key to this success was the establishment of academic partnerships with hospital and health care organizations. Using the processes established with our Academic Partners; hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and other major cities in Texas, we are introducing an innovative initial licensure AP BSN program. This program blends our module-delivered online content with UT Arlington faculty supervised clinical experiences. This program is 15 months in length, following completion of the general courses in the Freshman and Sophomore years.
The ten clinical components of the program are taught by UTA faculty within partner hospitals. The innovative aspect of these clinical placements is that students will spend their last two years within the partner hospital or the partner hospital system. Since each of the clinical courses are specialty-based (pediatrics, critical care, psychiatric nursing, etc.), different faculty who have masterís degrees in the specialty will be supervising students in each of the specialty clinical placements. Unlike other programs using a preceptor model, the UTA-employed instructors are not preceptors who are volunteering to teach while still having patient care responsibilities as staff nurses. This means that their number one priority of time is to students. In addition to faculty, online coaches, who meet the same academic requirements as faculty, help students navigate through the online courses.
RN to BSN
During the past year, we have substantially increased the enrollment of nurses in our new online RN to BSN Academic Partnership program while continuing to meet the needs of nurses who prefer to learn in the more traditional 15 semester option. The Academic Partnership RN to BSN program offers a modular 5-6 week format.
The University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing has streamlined its online RN to BSN Program to include all the courses you need to graduate with your BSN (including General Courses). You can enroll immediately regardless of the number of General Courses you have completed!
UT Arlington is solely responsible for all RN to BSN course content, course structure, and final course grades. Additionally, coaches help facilitate student navigation of the courses and the time frames for the modular delivery via internet that is accessed by students individually.
We know from state statistics that the nursing shortage will continue for many years to come and that annually over 8,000 qualified applicants to Texas schools of Nursing are not admitted. We have been delighted with the response of the community to our goal of making the BSN degree more accessible.
I look forward to your being a graduate of one of our undergraduate programs as you take part in our exciting new AP RN to BSN and AP BSN initiatives or in our tradition semester based RN to BSN and initial licensure BSN programs.
Elizabeth C. Poster, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, UTA School of Nursing