West Virginia RN to BSN Bridge Programs
The mountain state of West Virginia has just under 20,000 Registered Nurses employed as of 2010, according to the most recent data available (O*net, 2013). Of those RNs, less than 50% hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher (WV Center for Nursing, 2011). The need for Bachelor’s prepared nurses who are trained to educate, lead and manage other nurses is paramount to the health of the state, and is a primary goal of the WV Action Coalition.
Below you will find a full listing of all the RN to BSN programs available in West Virginia, including distance learning options, which are located in our featured schools box. Once you have had the chance to research the programs, you can then make a well informed decision about how to proceed with your nursing education.
As a part of the progress toward meeting the goal of 80% of RNs being Bachelor’s prepared, the state’s nurse leaders are working to develop nursing programs that allow RNs to earn higher degrees in a seamless and smooth fashion. As a result, there are several RN to BSN programs in the state, offering both on campus and online programs.
We at BestNursingDegree are strong supporters of advancing nursing education, in alignment with The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. We aim to provide you with all the resources you need to find the best nursing program to meet your needs, and to successfully work toward your Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Curriculum of RN to BSN Programs
West Virginia has a wide range of choices between campus based RN to BSN programs and online programs. The goals for the programs emphasize critical thinking, leadership, health promotion and working with a diverse clinical population. Many of the university and online programs can be completed in 3 full-time semesters, but they may be completed part-time as well.
Enrollment in the RN-BSN program requires a valid West Virginia RN license, an official transcript from an associate degree or diploma program with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and completion of all prerequisite courses. You may have already completed some of the prerequisites, such as English or Mathematics courses, and may be able to apply these previously earned credits to your Bachelor’s in Nursing program.
Specific nursing courses may vary slightly from one university to another, but a typical RN to Bachelor’s bridge program includes:
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Nursing in Complex Community Systems
- Care of the Critically Ill Patient
- Leadership in Complex Systems
- Community Health Nursing
- Ethics & Issues in Professional Nursing
- Concepts of Professional Nursing
- Gerontological Health Care Issues
- Nursing Research
As you progress through the RN to BSN program, you may also be required to take nursing electives, many of which may reflect specialty interests you already have such as Multicultural Nursing Issues, Nursing Research, and Pediatric Population based Nursing.
If you are a nurse who is interested in school based nursing, West Virginia also has a specific certification for school nurses. At least one university has this program, which includes the following courses; Foundations and Principles of School Health Nursing and School Nursing Practicum. The nurse must then pass the PPST exam to be certified as a WV School Nurse.
Careers for RN to BSN Graduates in West Virginia
According to the Occupational Profile for West Virginia (O*net, 2013), the demand for nurses could grow by up to 23% by the year 2020, potentially creating over 4,000 new jobs by that time. As a current RN, it is important to keep yourself well poised to take advantage of what these new positions may have to offer.
By earning your BSN degree, you may be able to find a nursing opportunity that is designed for RNs with advanced educational and leadership qualifications. You may also find that your earning potential could move from the median income level of $53,100 up to $74,500, which represents the highest percentile of wages in the state. Regardless of the impact that obtaining your BSN may have on career or salary specifics, you will be better prepared to provide patients with high quality, safe and effective patient care.
As a Baccalaureate nurse, you will receive advanced training in leadership and management, preparing you for administrative positions that may be available in hospitals, nursing homes and home healthcare. BSN nurses also receive opportunities for more complex duties, such as learning to insert PICC lines. Other positions that may be available in the hospitals include working in risk management or as Concurrent Review Coordinator. This coordinator position reviews inpatient admission to assure a patient receives the appropriate level of healthcare.
There are several different types of jobs available for BSNs outside of hospitals which include:
- Physician offices
- Case managers for home healthcare
- Hospice care
- Insurance companies
- Occupational nurses for industry
Pharmaceutical companies also employ nurses, who provide telephonic nursing services for data collection, patient education and support, as well as sales. The education you receive in your RN to BSN program can open many doors to expanded opportunities, enhanced job satisfaction, and will help push the profession of nursing toward its national goals.
We want to help you meet your nursing education goals, which starts with finding the right program to apply to. Review our school listing, including the featured schools, and request information from all of those that offer what you are looking for. The more information you have, the better prepared you will be to make a well informed decision about nursing school.
And educated nurse is a powerful thing, and we are here to help make that education happen.
Schools to consider
- West Virginia University (Morgantown, Charleston, Montgomery): This program may be completed in three semesters of full-time study, although part-time study is also available. All nursing courses are offered online, with 28 credits of nursing coursework required for graduation. Courses include genetics, genomics, evidence-based practice, and research.
- Marshall University (Huntington): Nursing classes are online and required clinical hours can be completed in the student’s own community. The program may be completed in four semesters of full-time study (11 to 14 credits per semester). Admission is twice yearly. Classes include evidence-based practice, community health, and transcultural health care.
- Salem International University (Salem): This RN to BSN program is online and can be completed at the student’s own pace. According to the University, courses emphasize evidence-based practice; leadership and management strategies; communication and informatics; health promotion, maintenance and restoration; and diverse client populations across the lifespan.