SVC Granted Approval by NEASC for Online Nursing BSN Program

January 15, 2016

Southern Vermont College has announced that a new, online, low-residency program to assist registered nurses (RNs) in obtaining their baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) has been approved by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). James White, Provost of the College, and Mary Botter, SVC Division of Nursing Chair, recently received notice of the program approval.

“This is an exciting new element of SVC's popular nursing program. The low-residency, online RN-to-BSN track is in response to the needs of working healthcare professionals and makes a bachelor's degree attainable in a more convenient manner,” said Provost White.  “The new track also represents an important step for the College in regards to online education.” Division Chair Botter said that in addition to online flexibility, “RN-BSN students have the benefit of meeting once a month on campus, which deepens the experience.” Through the program, RN-BSN students will meet the first Thursday of each month as a learning cohort, where they can do group work, hear guest speakers and receive IT support. “SVC’s special niche is that we work closely with our students, particularly in the nursing program,” said Botter. “Their success is our success.”

The SVC RN-BSN program is also being offered at a newly reduced tuition rate, at $406.25 per credit hour with no additional fees. In addition, the curriculum is set up so that working RNs can start the program during the spring, fall or summer semester. Several prospective students have already expressed interest, according to Dean of Admissions Daniel Summers II. “The flexibility of this program makes it a very viable option for working nurses who live within one or two hours of the College,” Summers said. “By helping local nurses earn their degree and better their professional lives, SVC is striving to be a good neighbor in the region as well as the local community.”

Botter added that the program responds to employer requests for increasing the number of BSN nurses in the workforce, and also to national and state initiatives to have 80 percent of RNs educated at the baccalaureate level by the year 2020, as recommended by the Institute of Medicines Report. “Studies have shown that having nurses with advanced degrees makes a difference to patient outcomes,” she said. SVC offers two tracks for nursing: the Pre-Nursing BSN track and the RN-BSN track, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

For more information about the new online, low-residency RN-BSN program, please visit the RN-BSN Web page, or call the Office of Admissions at 802-447-6300.