Elkins – In response to the growing national need for health care providers, Davis & Elkins College will offer a four-year Bachelor of Science program in nursing beginning in fall 2019. The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses recently granted approval for the College to add an additional program to the Division of Nursing.
Currently, Davis & Elkins offers an Associate of Science in nursing program and an online RN to BSN degree completion program. Both will continue with the addition of the new Bachelor of Science program.
“We’re very pleased to be able to offer the BSN to our students here on campus,” said D&E Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rob Phillips. “Dr. Threasia Witt and the nursing faculty have built successful associate’s and RN to BSN programs. We believe the addition of an on-campus BSN program will be attractive to students and will allow Davis & Elkins College to better meet the health care needs of the region and beyond.”
The traditional BSN curriculum will incorporate some courses from the associate degree program and some courses from the degree completion program. These, along with the general education courses required for the 124 credit hours to fulfill the bachelor’s degree, will complete the curriculum.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2014-2024, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among one of the highest in job growth through 2024. Specifically, the RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.7 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2024, an increase of 439,300 or 16 percent.
“With an average vacancy rate of 10 RNs in the area health care agencies, it is important for the region that we provide as many qualified nurses as possible,” said Witt, a D&E professor of nursing and chair of the Division of Nursing. “While 100 percent of our associate degree graduates are employed within six months of graduation and many are employed immediately upon graduation, some hospitals are increasing the numbers of baccalaureate prepared nurses hired and give these graduates priority. We plan to make this program as successful and graduates as sought after as the associate degree graduates from Davis & Elkins College. With the approval of the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, this goal is closer to becoming a reality.”
Davis & Elkins College works with area hospitals to provide clinical experience for nursing students. The College entered a partnership with Davis Medical Center (DMC) in 2017 to establish The Center for Advanced Clinical Learning, a simulation lab and facility for inter-professional education. Located on the DMC campus, the center provides an opportunity for D&E nursing students and the hospital’s nurses to learn and practice in a realistic and risk-free environment. In addition, several area hospitals offer nursing students the opportunity to participate in a nurse externship program.
For the past two years, Davis & Elkins College nursing students have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Within six months, 100 percent of D&E Nursing graduates are employed.