Linda Benson
Director of Nursing Education, Nightingale College

Linda Benson, Director, Nursing Education Services at Nightingale College, joins us today to discuss their RN-to-BSN Bridge Program. Nightingale College is located in Ogden, Utah.

#1 Can you tell us about the RN-to-BSN Bridge Program offered at Nightingale College?

It is a program for busy RNs who are interested in continuing their education to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Bridge Program is designed with working RNs in mind.

A main portion of the program is the completion of an employer capstone project and community health project. The two projects help learners apply what they are learning in the program to real-world situations that influence their place of employment and community.

The curriculum of the RN-to-BSN Bridge Program combines various elements that encourage learners in the program to develop advanced leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

#2 How long does a typical RN-to-BSN Bridge Program take at Nightingale College? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?

Full time is 16 credit hours per semester and takes three semesters.  However, the completion time can be extended to five semesters if that works better with the learner’s work schedule.

#3 What do you think makes your program stand out from other programs?

We have an advanced cognition course that is not typically offered in BSN programs.  Nurses care for clients with a variety of mental conditions in all areas of nursing. However, that does not seem to be a priority area of nursing care.  Not knowing how to care for clients with mental health issues can lead to safety issues for nurses and clients.

#4 How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a RN-to-BSN degree?

Accreditation ensures that learners are getting a quality education.  Therefore, accreditation is a very important part of any degree program in nursing.  It can also affect progression to other schools for learners.

#5 There is some debate as to whether or not the RN-to-BSN Bridge Programs are as worthwhile as traditional degrees. What steps does Nightingale College take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?

Many hospitals are progressing nurses to professional bachelor’s degrees to ensure safer practices.  There is a lot of data that shows that there are less safety errors and issues with nursing holding higher nursing degrees.  We have integrated discussions and assignments from a third-party vendor that ensures quality, interactive content that aligns with the baccalaureate essentials from CCNE.

#6 What are the advantages to earning a RN-to-BSN Bridge Program?

The advantages of attending an RN-to-BSN Bridge Program is that it is online and can be attended by busy working professional nurses.

The advantage of getting a BSN degree is that it opens more opportunities, including being a charge nurse or nurse educator in a hospital and often nursing management positions in many healthcare organizations.  The BSN degree is also the starting point for graduate degrees in nursing advanced clinical practice, nursing administration, and nursing education.

#7 Does Nightingale College offer job placement for students who graduate from your bridge program?

Nightingale College offers job assistance for all learners who graduate from either of its nursing programs, although most learners in the BSN program are already working as RNs. The College has a dedicated Career and Alumni Services Department focused on helping prepare learners for life after graduation.

#8 What type of financial aid packages are available for students in nursing? Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?

Learners are able to access Title IV financial aid loans and grants available to them.

#9 Do you have any advice for students enrolling in an RN-to-BSN Bridge Program for the first time?

If you will be working full time while attending the program, please attend part-time to ensure the time needed to learn and devote to your studies.

#10 What do you enjoy most about your position at Nightingale College?

I love making a difference and providing an innovative, creative approach to nursing education.

Thank you, Linda Benson, for sharing and participating in this piece. More information about their program please visit this link.

That concludes our interview!