In an age of skyrocketing tuition hikes, the University of Rochester School of Nursing is cutting the cost of its bachelor’s degree program for registered nurses.
Responding to the state’s BS in 10 legislation that requires future nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing within 10 years of their initial licensure, UR Nursing is dropping the overall cost of its RN to BS completion program by 18 percent.
The school also offers scholarships to bolster the strength of the nursing workforce by easing the financial burden faced by RNs who graduate with an associate degree or nursing diploma.
Starting in fall 2018, UR Nursing is reducing the sticker price of its RN to BS program from $1,456 to $1,200 per credit hour, though the school already offers discounts to nurses throughout the state. Through its Finger Lakes Regional Scholarship, UR Nursing offers a 50 percent discount to eligible nurses who live or work in an 18-county region surrounding Greater Rochester. The school provides a 55 percent discount to nurses working at a University of Rochester Medical Center affiliate organization through the Affiliate Professional Development Grant, while UR employees are eligible for a tuition waiver of up to 95 percent, dropping the cost of the RN to BS program to as little as $60 per credit hour.
“The University of Rochester School of Nursing fully embraces New York’s BS in 10 legislation — it is a move that we have championed for a long time,” said Kathy Rideout, dean. “As nationwide leaders in nursing education, we feel that it’s imperative to make a commitment to ensuring that our nursing workforce has realistic and open access to programs that help deliver better patient outcomes, prepares nurses to meet the demands of an increasingly complex health care environment and provides hardworking nurses with the crucial foundation they need to pursue additional education to advance their career.”
New York is the first state to enact legislation requiring future RNs who graduate from an associate degree or nursing diploma program to complete a baccalaureate degree program within 10 years after being licensed to practice. Diploma and associate degree nursing programs are maintained as entry points into the nursing profession, and all currently licensed RNs and students enrolled in a nursing program are excluded from the mandatory requirement.
Research shows that additional education makes a difference in the skill and competence of RNs, and results in better quality care for patients. While affordability is a key factor for nurses in choosing where to pursue their baccalaureate degree, the quality of education they receive at that institution and how nurses are able to apply those lessons to their clinical practice is ultimately the biggest takeaway.
UR Nursing’s RN to BS program is built on technology, and uses the latest research to deliver an interactive, enhanced learning experience to students. It mixes online coursework with in-person classroom settings and access to the resources of an academic medical center. The program can be completed in as little as 16 months of part-time study. Program graduates are equipped to pursue advanced degrees such as nurse practitioner, or pursue a wider range of nursing leadership or educator roles.
“This is not about nurses going back to school, it’s about moving the profession forward through transformative education,” said Lydia Rotondo, associate dean for education and student affairs at UR Nursing. “We are preparing nurses for a future that they will create for themselves.”
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