RN-to-BSN answers industry’s call for nurses with advanced training

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Written by: Kimberly Allen

With Central Florida’s shortage of nurses, particularly those with bachelor’s degrees, this program is enhancing career opportunities for registered nurses. 

More highly trained, qualified nurses are bringing advanced skills to the Central Florida workforce as Seminole State College of Florida graduated the first students from its RN-to-BSN (Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing) program in Spring 2019, just a year after the degree was first offered.

Of the College’s first seven RN-to-BSN graduates – Claudia Bosdal, Melissa M. Carrion, Linden L. Ferguson, Odetta A. Julien, Erica D. Latimer, Grace Ogochukwu Aralu and Kyle R. Woodruff – six are already working in the field. 

Woodruff and Julien both worked full-time at AdventHealth and said being able to work and go to school at the same time was beneficial. 

“I would absolutely recommend this program. It is convenient, and I was able to do my studies on my off days,” Woodruff said. “Knowing that the professors were easily accessible, and they respond to you quickly helped me get through the program.”

About 40 more students are on track to graduate from the program by Fall 2019. 

The RN-to-BSN program complements Seminole State’s top-rated Associate in Science degree in Nursing and provides graduates with high-growth, high-paying jobs. In fact, the Job Placement Rate (2016-17 FETPIP data) of Seminole State’s nursing graduates is at a monumental 98 percent. The College’s nursing program has been ranked as one of the best in the nation by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The ranking is based on the passage rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

“At Seminole State, students have a flexible and affordable option to seamlessly transition from an associate to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, trained by our excellent, caring faculty members committed to their success,” said Dr. Cheryl Cicotti, associate vice president of the School of Business, Health and Public Safety at Seminole State. “Students need flexible options if they are interested in becoming a nurse. Ninety percent of Seminole State’s RN-to-BSN program is offered online, enabling students to continue working while pursuing their baccalaureate degree.”

Seminole State’s role in the local community is to help industries meet their hiring goals. As such, the College has expanded its nursing enrollment by more than 300 percent over the past decade and has worked closely with the University of Central Florida and sister colleges to address the area’s shortage of registered nurses, particularly those with bachelor’s degrees.

Formed in June 2016, a regional consortium consisting of executive leadership from healthcare organizations, CareerSource, and representatives from three regional state colleges (Lake-Sumter, Seminole State and Valencia) and UCF gathered to study the issue. The consortium confirmed that based on planned growth and expansions in the region and impending retirements, the shortages of registered nurses will soon reach critical levels. It is estimated that without accounting for retirements, there is a need for an additional 4,600 new registered nursing jobs, and there will be close to 8,400 openings in the region by 2023.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are a number of contributing factors impacting the nursing shortage, among them: nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for nursing services; a significant segment of the nursing workforce is nearing retirement age; and changing demographics signal a need for more nurses to care for our aging population.

Nursing is one of the principal programs at Seminole State’s expanding Altamonte Springs Campus, where students have access to state-of-the-art healthcare labs, high-tech patient simulation and clinical experiences. Plans are underway for an expanded health science and education facility at the campus, which will accommodate the existing and anticipated growth of the College’s nursing program. Nursing also complements Seminole State’s allied health programs, including its bachelor’s degree in health sciences, physical and respiratory therapy, pharmacy and paramedic programs.

Learn more about Seminole State’s RN-to-BSN program at seminolestate.edu/rn-to-bsn.

About Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit seminolestate.edu
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About the Nursing program

Seminole State College’s Nursing Program, part of the Ann Wiggins Moore Center for Nursing and Healthcare Professionals, is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. Based at the Altamonte Springs Campus, the program’s facilities feature state-of-the-art healthcare labs and high-tech patient simulators. To learn more, go to seminolestate.edu/nursing.