Accelerated Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science (ABS) Nursing program is a newly implemented fast-track RN to BS completion program available at two Penn State College of Nursing campus sites—Altoona and Fayette. A three year, $841,514, grant received by Dr. Raymonde A. Brown from the U.S Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) facilitated the launching of the program in July, 2008. The primary purpose of the program is to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses (BS-RNs) in rural underserved areas of Pennsylvania (PA) with a special emphasis on creating a nursing workforce better prepared to assume the direct care of this vulnerable patient population.
According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice 2006 recommendation at least two-thirds of the nursing workforce should hold a baccalaureate or higher nursing degrees by 2010. As of 2005, only 43 percent of the nursing workforce possessed degrees at those levels and only 16 percent of associate degree-prepared nurses were pursuing baccalaureate degrees.
The ABS program enables associate degree-prepared registered nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree in one year—less than half the time it usually takes to complete a typical RN to BS completion program.
Overall, ABS Program goal:
Healthy People 2010 Goal 1:
Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr) Goals(1 and 3):
Assure the quality of care: Improve the knowledge, skills, competencies and outcomes of health professions workforce.
About the program curriculum:
The program curriculum is designed so that students spend only one day per week on campus and all course work is completed in three semesters, which allows those individuals who are limited by location and/or employment a greater opportunity to participate in the program. The cornerstone of the ABS curriculum is providing a quality BS completion program in a format that is time efficient.
The compressed curriculum design incorporates a blend of in-class, web-enhanced, and online courses over 7 week sessions. Each student will have a plan of study developed and will have access to a variety of support and retention activities designed to insure their success, including an assignment of a mentor, computer support, tutoring and writing center services, access to Penn State’s course management system (ANGEL)and extensive library collection, and online or in-person access to Project staff and faculty.
Benefits of Obtaining a BS:
Historically, bachelor's-prepared nurses demonstrate stronger professional-level skills such as communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, professional integration and research/evaluation.
Dr. Suzanne Kuhn, RN, Ph.D, CNE, Assistant Professor, Campus Coordinator for Nursing Programs, Penn State Altoona, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dede McCreary, MS, RN, CNE, ABS Recruitment and Retention Advisor, Penn State Altoona, email@example.com