WGU Texas and Community College Partners Announce Dual-Admission Nursing Program Guaranteed Pathways

May 10, 2013, 10:28 ET from WGU Texas

AUSTIN, Texas, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of National Nurses Week, and in an effort to address the expanding statewide demand from healthcare providers for registered nurses with baccalaureate credentials, WGU Texas is announcing a new dual-admittance program with select community college partners in the state.

The new program, called a Guaranteed Pathway, includes automatic acceptance into specific WGU Texas RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) or RN to Master of Science in Nursing (RN-MSN) programs when participating in a newly established dual-admission track built to guide a student along a specific, predetermined program pathway. Galveston College's nursing program and Lone Star College System's nursing program are the first to participate. The Guaranteed Pathway program is designed by teams of curriculum and industry experts at WGU Texas and participating institutions. The Guaranteed Pathway program is in addition to existing statewide transfer agreements and benefits that WGU Texas offers Texas Association of Community College member institutions through its Finish to Go Further program.

"The focus of the Guaranteed Pathway is on high-ability students who are completely on purpose and have the long-term goal of earning a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing while starting their associate degree at our partner community colleges," said WGU Texas Chancellor Dr. Mark David Milliron. "The program is designed for striving students who are willing to follow very specific guidelines and rules to streamline the process through to the final credential: a bachelor's or master's degree."

"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." Since launching in August 2011, WGU Texas has granted bachelor's degrees to more than 100 nurses in the BSN program and more than 50 nurses and nurse educators in the MSN programs.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the state is facing a shortage of 71,000 nurses by 2020. Add to this the growing complexity and responsibility of services nurses provide, and hospitals and healthcare facilities have growing demand for Registered Nurses with bachelor's degrees; a requirement among an increasing number of hospitals seeking 'magnet' status.

WGU Texas uses 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 academic support. While WGU Texas 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 Texas' 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.

WGU Texas offers many scholarships to working nurses. Five Texas nurses will be awarded scholarships this week as part of the Go Further in Nursing Scholarship, established in honor of National Nurses Week. Additionally, RNs wishing to continue their studies with an RN to BSN or RN to MSN may apply for up to $2,000 in the Future of Nursing Scholarship.

The Guaranteed Pathway program is in development with partnership institutions and interested students should contact the participating community college's nursing program about how to get started. To learn more please visit: http://texas.wgu.edu/guaranteedpathways.

About WGU Texas:
WGU Texas is a private, nonprofit, online university expanding access to quality higher education for Texas residents. Established by the state of Texas through a partnership with nationally recognized Western Governors University, WGU Texas is accredited and open to all qualified Texas residents. It offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate online degree programs in key workforce areas including business, information technology, teacher education, and health professions including nursing. WGU Texas uses an innovative competency-based academic approach that allows working adults to fit their education into their lives. WGU Texas measures learning, not seat time. All programs offer flexible online study, state-of-the art learning resources, expert faculty, and individualized mentor-guided support. WGU Texas provides a convenient, cost-effective way for self-directed, hard working adults to earn a degree and get ahead. An affordable model, tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months and averages $2,890 per term. WGU Texas undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To learn more, visit texas.wgu.edu.

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