SALT LAKE CITY, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation celebrates National Nurses Week, Western Governors University (WGU), www.wgu.edu, is celebrating, too. In the five years since the online, nonprofit university launched its first nursing programs, enrollment in WGU's CCNE*-accredited nursing programs has grown to more than 6,600 nurses, and more than 4,000 have graduated with a BSN or MSN. WGU's nursing programs are part of its newest college, the College of Health Professions, which also includes degrees in health informatics and healthcare management. Enrollment in this college has grown to 8,500 students since 2008.
At a time when qualified nurses and nurse educators are in short supply, WGU's programs are helping meet a critical need. With more hospitals working to reach "Magnet" designation, the demand for registered nurses with bachelor's degrees is growing. Yet, fewer than half of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses have completed bachelor's degrees. WGU offers an online B.S. in Nursing program that allows working registered nurses to complete a bachelor's degree without sacrificing work and family obligations. In addition, the university's master's degrees in nursing education and nursing management are also helping to address the demand for nurse educators and leaders.
"WGU offers a high-quality, contemporary option for working nurses, many of whom have been waiting for an affordable, accredited nursing education program that helps them progress academically. We are so proud of the contributions our graduates are making every day, in every facet of nursing practice and education," said WGU Chief Nursing Officer Jan Jones-Schenk. "Our graduates are at the forefront of innovation and quality and epitomize those attributes we are celebrating about nurses this week."
WGU's online degree programs use a competency-based learning model that allows students to work through study materials on their own schedule and advance when they can demonstrate their knowledge. This approach to learning is ideal for working adults with prior education and work experience. Each student has one-on-one guidance and support from faculty mentors, who help the student stay on track, providing coaching, direction, and even tutoring, if needed. While WGU's degree programs are rigorous and challenging, competency-based learning enables students with the time and ability to accelerate their programs, often finishing sooner, saving both time and money. Tuition for WGU's nursing programs is charged at a flat rate of $3,250 per six-month term, and terms can begin on the first day of any month.
For more information about degree programs in WGU's College of Health Professions or how WGU is celebrating National Nurses Week, please visit: www.wgu.edu/nursesweek.
Named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies 2013, WGU has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN's "Schools of Thought," and in The New York Times, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering accredited, competency-based bachelor's and master's degree programs. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. WGU's Teachers College is the first exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation for its teacher licensure programs from NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The WGU bachelor's and master's nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE*), and its B.S. in Health Informatics is accredited by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education).
On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana was created by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana's eighth state university. WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011. On August 3, 2011, the state of Texas created WGU Texas. On February 15, 2013, Governor Jay Nixon announced the establishment of WGU Missouri. These state-based universities are state-endorsed and offer degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.
The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu or by calling 866.225.5948.
*Western Governors University offers nursing programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 5380, Washington DC 20036, 202-877-6791).
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SOURCE Western Governors University