Heidelberg University’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program has received approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission and is now enrolling students.
In December 2017, the University announced that it would be partnering with Terra State for the BSN program. The 1-2-1 program will begin with one year of core coursework at Heidelberg, followed by two years of nursing study at Terra and conclude with the final year of coursework online through Heidelberg. At the conclusion of the program, students will have earned an associate’s degree in applied science from Terra State, licensure as a registered nurse (upon completion of the NCLEX exam) and a BSN degree from Heidelberg.
Dr. Karen Estridge, a registered nurse and the Nursing Program Director, came on board in May 2018 to guide Heidelberg’s BSN program through to accreditation, and develop and implement the nursing coursework. Following a site visit by accreditors in the spring, the BSN program has been approved to officially launch this fall.
“Our graduates will leave here ready to lead,” Estridge said. “Whether they are new grads or seasoned RNs, they will be innovators who think outside the box as they provide excellent care to the populations they serve.”
“Through our program, we will promote confidence, knowledge and a strong drive to be an excellent nurse who represents nursing in a professional way,” said Estridge. “We will offer courses that are purposeful, that lead to personal and professional growth and that are user-friendly, flexible, affordable and convenient to working nurses.”
Heidelberg offers two pathways within the nursing program that lead to the BSN degree.
"Both pathways prepare students to think both deeper and broader in order to identify health issues, solve problems and address concerns of a specific or global population in need of care,” Estridge said.
The first is the 1-2-1 partnership with Terra State, which also leads to registered nurse licensure in three years. Heidelberg also offers an RN-BSN Completion pathway for working registered nurses who want to earn their BSN degree in a friendly and flexible online environment with clinical arrangements close to the student’s home. It is designed with adult students in mind who have work and/or family obligations.
Students in the fourth year of the 1-2-1 pathway and those in the RN-BSN pathway would complete the same eight online undergraduate baccalaureate nursing courses facilitated by Heidelberg nursing faculty, including two with a clinical component. Clinicals in the BSN program will encourage independent projects and allow students options for clinical locations that are close to home, yet different from their employment in order to promote new knowledge and skills while providing for services at the clinical sites.
“Both of these pathways offer flexibility, allowing students to live on either the Heidelberg or Terra State campus, potentially participate on athletic teams and be part of two engaging communities,” Estridge said. Additionally, several specialized certifications are built into the baccalaureate nursing courses to enable these seasoned and new RNs to gain useful knowledge in various settings, develop leadership skills, work to solve global issues, build an impressive portfolio and increase their marketability as professionals.
This 1-2-1 program is an effective response to the vision of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which was based on an initiative launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine. Additionally, the Vision for Academic Nursing has noted that nursing education must be poised to influence the changes in learning environments, enhance competency-based learning, thrive among vast healthcare systems changes, impact technology, and meet higher expectations in the workforce, according to AACN's Vision for Nursing Education (2019). This Heidelberg-Terra consortial pathway will assist in meeting these needs for the future nursing workforce.