Curriculum Design Model for Baccalaureate Degree, Academic Progression Models for Licensed Practical/Vocational In Nursing Education

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Nursing Education and Curriculum Design Model for Baccalaureate Degree, Academic Progression Models for Licensed Practical/Vocational

Curriculum Design Model for Baccalaureate Degree, Academic Progression Models for Licensed Practical/Vocational In Nursing Education

Baccalaureate Degree Programs Curriculum Design In Nursing Education, Academic Progression Models and Curriculum Design In Nursing Education, Academic Progression Models for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses Curriculum Design, Academic Progression Models for Registered Nurses with an ASN or Diploma Curriculum Design In Nursing Education.

Baccalaureate Degree Programs Curriculum Design In Nursing Education

    Baccalaureate degree (BSN, BS, BA) programs are traditionally offered by 4-year colleges and universities. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2013), 19 states now allow community colleges to offer bachelor degrees. The graduate of a baccalaureate nursing program is prepared to deliver care to individuals, families, groups, and communities in institutional, home, and community settings. 

    In addition to content related to specific nursing areas, baccalaureate curricula also include concepts related to management, community health, nursing theory and research, health policy, group and team dynamics, and professional issues. 

    Health promotion, illness prevention, and patient education may also be emphasized. The baccalaureate curriculum offers a strong foundation of liberal arts and sciences in addition to nursing courses. 

    The program may be designed to require students to take prerequisite courses in the sciences, arts, and humanities before admission to the nursing major, or students may be directly admitted to the nursing program and take these courses concurrently with nursing courses. 

    Faculty must consider the issues related to each program design, their philosophical beliefs about education, the characteristics of the program’s student population, and the institution’s mission as decisions are made about the design of the curriculum.

    It is imperative for the faculty to construct curricula that are flexible enough in adapting to changing practice expectations of baccalaureate-prepared nurses, especially as there is growing evidence and preference for the bachelor degree as entry into nursing practice (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2010). 

    This growing evidence supports the need for more baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce given the data showing increases in patient safety and patient care outcomes as a result of the practice of baccalaureate prepared nurses. 

    To develop contemporary curricula and meet the needs of the workforce, and consistent with the IOM’s 2010 call for transformational partnerships, there will be a continuing need to stress the creation of academic practice partnerships (Niederhauser, MacIntyre, Garner, Teel, & Murray, 2010).

    Faculty must maximize these partnerships as they develop revised program competencies that include but are not limited to such concepts as clinical reasoning, critical inquiry, intra  and inter professional collaborative practice, leadership, health coaching, complexity thinking, efficient care management and coordination, health policy advocacy, evidence based decision making, information technology, bioterrorism, genetics and genomics, gerontology, and care redesign. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of competencies but one that will evolve with the dynamics of a changing health care system.

Academic Progression Models and Curriculum Design In Nursing Education

    Given the multiple entry points into the nursing profession, and the societal need for nurses who have advanced education and skills, curriculum designs that promote academic progression are an important part of the landscape of nursing education. These programs are designed to provide students a pathway from one educational degree level to another in an expedited fashion. 

    These innovations share three main characteristics: a focus on decreasing the time to move from one academic degree to another; recognition for prior educational and practical or life experience; and the ability to transport educational credit. These programs are critical in partially overcoming the efficiency lost in moving from one degree program to another.

Academic Progression Models for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses Curriculum Design

    Often, students make the choice to begin nursing careers as LPNs or LVNs for a variety of life reasons. For example, students may desire a short time to program completion, early entry into the workforce, and affordability. The most common academic progression models for LPNs are LPN to ASN and LPN to BSN. 

    Porter Wenzlaff and Froman (2008) described LPN and LVN programs, noting that they offer an entry point into the health professions that is able to draw a greater proportion of ethnic and racial minority students, individuals from disadvantaged personal and academic backgrounds, older students, and students who may have ESL. 

    In nursing, a professional field that has not achieved diversity goals in many areas, this entry point into nursing is a mechanism that could help the profession become more diverse. Successful programs provide supportive services to enhance reading comprehension, to develop writing skills, and to overcome financial obstacles in a supportive environment.

    It is expected that nurse educators will continue to design academic progression options that facilitate educational transition for individuals licensed as LPNs and LVNs. 

    One example of an educational model that promotes academic progression is the National League for Nursing (NLN) (2010) Education Competencies Model that identifies outcomes and competencies for all nursing programs from LPN or LVN through doctoral programs, providing a seamless transition across nursing programs.

Academic Progression Models for Registered Nurses with an ASN or Diploma Curriculum Design In Nursing Education

    Many undergraduate nursing program options have been developed to facilitate the academic progression of RNs within the profession. These programs are designed to streamline the articulation of curricula between degree programs. 

    Program designs vary and depend on the philosophy of the nursing faculty and the expectations of the parent institution. The most common include the RN to BSN program and the ASN to MSN programs, which may bypass or grant the BSN during the period in which the MSN is being earned. 

    Courses in RN to BSN programs typically include additional courses in liberal education to meet general education requirements and to provide graduates with exposure to a broad educational background. Nursing courses in RN to BSN programs usually encompass areas of focus that are not included deeply in associate degree or diploma programs. 

    Most RN to BSN programs include coursework in community health, nursing leadership or management, and research- and evidence based practice, as well as exposure to topics of concern to professional nurses such as professional communication, health care ethics, and health policy. 

    Many RN to BSN programs include a capstone course, facilitating the integration of learning outcomes. Participation in clinical nursing courses is an expected aspect of this academic progression model, often occurring through the use of precepted coursework.

    In recent years, strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners have led to the proliferation of successful models for structuring curriculum delivery. Some programs schedule educational offerings into a day, evening, or weekend format, allowing the student to continue working while earning credits. 

    Other programs combine online and in person delivery, allowing for the support and collegiality that easily emerges in cohort models of education with the convenience of the online environment. 

    Programs that are fully online have also become common, and allow students to pursue their baccalaureate degree at their own pace and with a great deal of flexibility (Hendricks et al., 2012). 

    Although nurses entering the profession with an initial BSN are more likely to complete a graduate degree in nursing, there is also a proliferation of academic progression programs facilitating RN (ASN) to MSN degree completion. 

    Some of these programs grant the BSN degree partway through the program and others do not. Such RN to MSN programs provide another streamlined pathway toward advancing the educational level of the nursing workforce.

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