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Year of the Nurse Celebrated with a New BSN Program

March 12, 2020

How fitting the World Health Organization has deemed 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and now William Penn University (WPU) is offering a Prelicensure Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. This is a unique opportunity for the community and Iowa, as well. Previously only 14 nursing schools in Iowa had a prelicensure BSN program. Of the 14 schools, only two were located south of Interstate 80. Offering a Pre-licensure BSN program at William Penn will meet the needs of our Southern Iowa population by providing students an opportunity to attend a four-year nursing program that is close to family and friends, while still receiving an excellent education and experiencing college life.

When you begin nursing at William Penn University you can expect to learn many things to prepare you for the role of a caring and healing nurse. The pre-licensure program at WPU prepares the individual for the profession of nursing by integrating a well-rounded liberal arts education, with a science and biology emphasis, and nursing core concepts required for the Bachelor of Science nurse. The liberal arts classes are placed within the first two years of the curriculum with a sprinkle of a few general education courses in the last two years. This design allows for increased flexibility of course offerings and the availability of financial assistance. The majority of the nursing core courses are offered in the last two years of the program. Nursing core courses consists of certified Nurse Aide Course, Pharmacology, Medical-Surgical Nursing I & II, Fundamentals and Skills in Nursing, Professionalism in Nursing, Maternity and Newborn Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Nursing

Leadership, Nursing Informatics, Transitioning the Nursing to Practice, and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing.

The courses at William Penn University build on each other and content learned in one course may be useful in another. At the successful completion of all courses, the student is then prepared to take the state licensure exam. Upon passing, they can then call themselves a BSN registered nurse (RN).

Some might ask, “Why should I get a BSN versus an ADN?” ADN is an associate degree in nursing and a BSN is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Both will prepare you to sit for the licensure exam and you can work in almost any healthcare setting with either degree. A William Penn University BSN-prepared nurse is educated in leadership, management, informatics, community health, professionalism, ethical frameworks, and evidence-based practice. Knowledge in these areas may provide additional opportunities in these nursing roles. Some hospitals are requiring a BSN or rewarding those who obtain a BSN. Peckham (2015) indicates that BSN-prepared nurses make about $6000 more a year than an AND-prepared nurse.

Being a nurse is not about money. Nurses are an integral part of the healing process. The profession cares, nurtures, and treats individuals and communities at their most vulnerable stages. Education to the patients and communities regarding health is a defined role of a nurse. Nurses are advocates for the rights of patients and communities. Nurses empower patients and communities to be active participants in their own healthcare. Finally, nursing is about caring for all humankind. Jean Watson said, “Caring is the essence of nursing”. Not many professions are as rewarding as being a nurse.

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William Penn’s Nursing Program is Hidden Gem

March 6, 2020

The William Penn University RN-BSN (Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing) Program is a hidden gem within the university.

This program, starting in 2009, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The RN-BSN program provides the opportunity for a registered nurse, who has completed an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in just 17 months in an online setting.

With the completion of this program the nurse can practice in the role of a BSN and/or continue their education to obtain a Masters of Science in Nursing and/or advance in practice such as a Nurse Practitioner. William Penn also offers a four-year BSN program, but this information focuses on our unique RN-BSN program.

An accredited BSN program, such as William Penn’s RN-BSN program, has a curriculum designed to prepare the student nurse to meet the complex challenges in healthcare today by incorporating the BSN Essentials.

The BSN Essentials are derived from the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN), along with suggestions from Institute of Medicine (IOM). These organizations identified nine essential components as a framework for the Bachelors of Science in Nursing curriculum.

It is important to note that these BSN Essentials are uniquely incorporated into a curriculum for the William Penn University (WPU) RN-BSN Program. The BSN Essentials identify that the graduate should have:

1) a solid base of liberal education as the cornerstone for practice and education

2) knowledge and skills in leadership, quality improvement, and patient safety

3) professional practice that is grounded in translation of current evidence into one’s practice

4) knowledge and skills in information management and patient care technology

5) an understanding of healthcare policies, including financial and regulatory, which directly and indirectly influence the nature and function of the healthcare system

6) interprofessional communication and collaboration skills

7) an understanding of health promotion and disease prevention at the individual and population levels of care

8) professionalism and the inherent values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice

9) that ability provide care in a generalist nursing practice

A generalist nursing practice is defined as the ability to provide care for various types of populations, including individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of healthcare environments. The generalist must understand and respect variations, complexity, and the use of healthcare resources in caring for patients.

Nurses’ roles are expanding to meet the needs of improving patient experience of care and the health of populations. Nurses are coming to the forefront to provide quality care to patients and communities.

They are the first contact, liaison, and coordinator of care, assuring that the patient, family, and community needs are being effectively met.

Nurses are also tasked to seek the best evidenced-based practice to provide optimal outcomes for patients. William Penn Bachelor of Science prepared nurses are encouraged to be life-long learners, improve their own practices, and identify when institutional practices can be improved.

The BSN will be educated to identify needs and elicit interventions for all population types, along with proper and effective use of resources. The nurse must do all of this and while displaying professional, ethical behaviors and actions.

In evaluating all these requirements of a nurse, today, we have to ask…have we provided our nurses with the resources they need? Have we equipped them with the knowledge to perform effectively in the new complex healthcare environment? How can we help them be successful to meet the needs of our patients, communities, and organizations?

The William Penn University RN-BSN Program provides Associate Degree Nurses with an opportunity to be the best prepared to handle all the issues that healthcare presents and make our communities a healthier place for all.

Sharon DeKock, MSN, RN, RNC, is Assistant Director of Nursing and Instructor of Nursing at William Penn University

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WPU Introduces Pre-Licensure BSN Program

February 26, 2020

William Penn University announced the Iowa Board of Nursing granted Interim Approval to begin a four-year pre-licensure Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) Program.

Starting in the fall of 2020, the nursing division will enroll students on the Oskaloosa campus. The program will serve a critical need for nurses locally and beyond; providing students with an opportunity for tremendous professional growth.

What does the Pre-licensure BSN program mean for William Penn University? Although William Penn University currently offers an RN-BSN degree program, the Pre-licensure BSN Program will allow students to complete their entire BSN requirements at WPU.

Students will be able to start their nursing education at Penn and finish with the ability to sit for the nursing licensure exam. The BSN requires four years of study, with concentrated nursing courses during the last 2 years of the program.

Nurses with BSN degrees are well-prepared to meet the demands placed on today’s nurse. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the national voice for academic nursing, believes that education has a significant impact on the knowledge and competencies of the nurse.

BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.

RNs are in high demand and are expected to see a job growth of 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The aging population continues to need qualified healthcare professionals like RNs.

As of May 2017, RNs earned annual wages that ranged from $48,690 to more than $104,100. A BSN graduate typically has more career opportunities available to them than a nurse who completes an associate degree program.

According the American Nurses Association, 21st Century nursing is the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together. Across the entire patient experience, and wherever there is someone in need of care, nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual.

Beyond the time-honored reputation for compassion and dedication lies a highly specialized profession, which is constantly evolving to address the needs of society.

William Penn University is pleased to offer this Bachelor of Science Nursing Program, allowing students to pursue a career in Nursing, while also offering a traditional college experience in terms of access to athletics, activities and student organizations. WPU proudly provides a supportive and caring learning environment for all students. If you wish to receive more information regarding this program, contact the William Penn Nursing Division at 641-673-1298.

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One Degree, Many Paths: Nursing at William Penn

February 20, 2020

If you choose to become a nurse, one thing is certain: You’ll have plenty of options for your career path.

At William Penn, our experienced and caring faculty are here to mentor you as you begin your adventure in nursing. For nearly 5 years, Nursing Instructor and Assistant Director of William Penn’s Nursing Department, Sharon DeKock, has paved a pathway to success for students completing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

DeKock’s passion for healthcare and nursing is contagious; not only in the classroom, but in her daily life as well. Her diverse background stems back to 1988 when she completed her BSN. From there she jumped into her career, eventually finishing her Masters in Nursing in 2004. From instructing patients and staff, to teaching at both the community college and university level, DeKock was able to blend her passions for education and nursing.

“One degree can go so many ways,” said DeKock. “With our nursing program, students connect with a variety of nurses, which brings a variety of life experiences. Our discussions help guide students in deciding how they want to pursue their degree in nursing.”

Similar to DeKock’s experience, William Penn exposes nursing majors to various learning environments, including health care and community settings. William Penn’s Nursing Program offers a wide range of real-world, practical experiences to students enrolled in the program. Comparative to an internship, students will complete a Preceptorship prior to graduating, where they will receive hands-on experience in the field of nursing. Students will graduate with a deeper understanding of professional nurses and confidence in their roles.

“I love what I do. I love our profession, I love what we stand for,” said DeKock. “I want people to feel confident to go out and love this role as much as I do.”

To learn more about William Penn’s Nursing Program, please visit or give us a call (641-673-1298).

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