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Year of the Nurse Celebrated with a New BSN Program


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.

This article was published in the Oskaloosa Herald on February 26, 2020.

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