The innovative program, which was launched in the fall of 2012, allows students who hold at least a bachelor's degree to pursue accelerated study toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) in as few as five semesters, spanning approximately two years. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX RN exam, leading to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) and entry into professional nursing practice.
The curriculum is based on the traditional BSN program, with course enhancements for accelerated study. The curriculum also allows for master’s degree coursework that can be transferred to any Master of Science in Nursing program.
Most classes were offered in the PACCAR Medical Education Center on the campus of the Adena Medical Center as well as some on the OU-C campus.
“This definitely was a life-changing experience because of the experiences I had and the people I met
throughout the program,” graduate Carolyn Gossett said. “It was difficult but definitely worth the
Gossett previously earned an associate degree in deaf studies interpreting, as well as her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies, all from Ohio University. “Through mission trips and other types of experiences, I have been fascinated by nursing. I look to use the communication skills I developed during previous college experiences, along with my nursing degree, and bring it all together in one career.”
Graduate Uloaku Irobi described the program as “Intense, tedious and stressful, but very much worth it. There was much studying involved but, we had the advantage of being individuals who previously earned degrees. My inspiration for entering the nursing program was taking care of family members who were sick.” Irobi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education in her native Nigeria, looks to become an intensive care unit nurse.
“It was very intense in terms of time commitment, but I was interested in the material, so the reading assignments were not difficult,” Katie Irwin said. “It was a great experience, and I was able to make professional contacts through the clinical experiences.” Irwin pursued a nursing career after being laid off from work for the second time. She earned bachelor’s degrees in occupational safety and environmental health from Ohio University.
Students in the program need to be focused and dedicated. It is a demanding endeavor, with students taking an aggressive plan of study consisting of 10 to 19 academic hours per semester, plus clinical experiences, over five semesters.
Beyond the academics, many students have family concerns and children. In fact, one student gave birth during the course of the program.
The preparedness and the character of the students left a mark on the OU-C faculty members who were involved with the program.
“It has been a challenge to maintain a higher level of rigor to meet their skills and expectations,” Camille Leadingham said. “I have been impressed with how advanced the students are and how prepared they are for the academic demands of this program. We consistently raised the level of teaching to meet their capabilities.”
Fellow nursing faculty member Ronald Vance said, “We all learned a lot working with accelerated students. We had a plan and a vision going into this program, but we had to be flexible to meet the students’ demands. The students brought a variety of educational backgrounds, and we had to periodically step back and look at how to best bring success to the students.
The program is a result of a $750,000 grant that Ohio University secured from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a federal government agency, to support the launch of the BASE program.
The second class is currently underway.