Responsive BScN Programming at Nipissing University: The Continuing Education of Ontario Nurses
Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, is currently the only post- secondary institution in that province to offer a part-time Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BScN) program for Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) through a blended learning model. This program represents a “bridge” from the nurse’s college diploma and offers a curriculum that enables students to continue to practice nursing as they study. Since the program’s inception in 2010, over 500 students have been admitted, attesting to its need. Flexibility, access, partnership, and excellence in teaching and learning comprise the heart of this complex, innovative, and student-centred program.
As a blended learning program, it uses synchronous and asynchronous online technologies to deliver theoretical content; these experiences are balanced with face-to-face learning in the clinical setting. Clinical learning is facilitated through partnership agreements with the students’ employers.
This paper describes how this RPN to BScN blended learning program has brought Nipissing to a leading edge in continuing education for RPNs. It also demonstrates Nipissing University’s commitment to drive change in the world of professional and adult education.