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UPIKE launches RN-BSN online program

June 19, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Beginning this fall, registered nurses working full time will have an opportunity to complete their RN-BSN coursework online at the University of Pikeville. This fully online program is the first of its kind to be offered at UPIKE.

The response from nursing alumni and prospective students has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Elliott School of Nursing Dean and Professor Mary R. Simpson, Ph.D. 

“Our students are Registered Nurses [RNs] who work full-time – 12-hour shifts, three to four days per week, including weekends,” said Simpson. “It is very hard for these RN-BSN students to arrange a work schedule that allows them to be in class, all together, on just one day a month.”  

Converting the university’s hybrid RN-BSN to a program that is 100 percent online follows a national trend to give adult learners with full-time obligations the flexibility to pursue advanced degrees in nursing.

Simpson said UPIKE’s program has a practicum component similar to RN-BSN online programs nationwide. The RN fulfills the practicum in flexible ways, such as direct experience with a BSN preceptor in a community of choice and indirect experience by collaborating on projects for a health care agency. The practicum allows the RN to gain advanced experience in community health and leadership while meeting nursing program standards of accreditation. 

Simpson noted, “As we transition to a fully online RN-BSN program, one thing that will not change is our commitment to work with all RN students for their success and the health of future clients.”

The RN-BSN program can be completed in three semesters – fall, spring and summer – depending on the number of general education courses students need to complete.

“Since its founding, the University of Pikeville has been dedicated to supporting the students and communities of Central Appalachia,” said Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D. “We are excited to continue this effort in new ways through offering fully online programs to complement existing face-to-face and hybrid options.”

UPIKE’s RN-BSN online program is approved by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is pending approval from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

For more information, contact Tauna Gulley, Ph.D., coordinator of the RN-BSN program, at or (606) 218-5765.

Update on June 26, 2017 - UPIKE received approval from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Update on July 1, 2017 -  UPIKE names new dean for Elliott School of Nursing
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