September 5, 2018

UHart to launch bachelor's degree program in nursing

PHOTO | UHart
PHOTO | UHart
UHart will launch a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program in fall 2019.

The University of Hartford announced Tuesday it will launch a nursing bachelor's degree program next year as demand for those healthcare professionals grows.

The University of Hartford's College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions (ENHP) said it's accepting applications for the program's launch in fall 2019. The new program is pending approval by the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing.

The university currently offers a program called "RN to BSN," which is for registered nurses who want to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing. UHart also offers a master's degree in nursing.

Under UHart's new four-year, entry-level program, nursing students will study in small classes and complete clinical hours at hospitals and medical centers across the region. Program officials said the school has received commitments from Hartford Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network/Manchester Memorial Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Middlesex Hospital, Midstate Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, among others.

Cesarina Thompson, dean of ENHP, says healthcare employers now either require or strongly prefer nurses with a bachelor's degree vs. candidates with lesser post-secondary degrees.

"Research has shown strong links between nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level and lower patient mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and more positive outcomes," Thompson said.

More than 500,000 registered nurses (RN) across the U.S. are expected to retire by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The anticipated retirements in addition to the sector's expansion will create a need for 1.1 million nurses over the next year five years, BLS says.

In Connecticut, more than 3,200 nurses will be needed to fill job openings between 2014 to 2024, the state Department of Labor has said.

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