Nursing Dept. Begins Online MA Program
Date: September 27, 2005
Intrinsic to the current and chronic scarcity of nurses and the disturbing national drop in student enrollment in nursing programs is the lack of accredited educators in the field. According to recent research, nearly forty percent of nursing programs are suffering from severe faculty shortages. Enter Andrews University Nursing Department’s newest prescription: a comprehensive, competitive, and cutting-edge online Masters-level program, designed to revive the lethargy of current MS nursing graduation rates with IV expediency.
Fall semester 2005 saw the enthusiastic launch of the online MS program’s inaugural semester. The only one like it in the Adventist education system, the program joins Andrews University’s already-top-notch nursing program, which has long been the sole MS Nursing program in Southwest Michigan approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and has produced decades of nursing students with an unprecedented 100 percent pass rate on certification board exams. And it goes without saying that nurses who graduate from Andrews University bring a distinct spiritual sensitivity to their profession.
Notwithstanding its many marked successes, Andrews’ nursing department decided it was time for a dosage of convenience. Online degree programs lend flexibility and speed in degree completion not as readily available in traditional classroom-structured programs. Rather than wrangling with vexing schedules and juggling preexisting work and family commitments with their pursuit of higher education, MS nursing students at Andrews University are now free to “attend class” at their convenience and complete their MS degrees in as little as two years. Nutrition chair Karen Allen expects this will ensure program subscribers “successfully land teaching positions in academic, clinical, and community venues” and thus begin to fill the current instructional void.
While some interested parties might suspect online education would be more bothersome than dressing a bedsore, Allen wants to guarantee its straightforwardness. “If you can open an email,” she says, “you can complete the program.” But don’t think its intuitive nature implies any compromise in the quality of its content. Just the opposite, its “classrooms” boast the latest technology and digital tools—including chat-room office hours—to ensure an interactive educational experience where support is only a mouse-click away.
Coordinators of the project and Andrews University’s nursing department at large look forward to what they expect will be positive feedback from students after the close of the program’s first semester.