Just what the doctor ordered: New online BNS program

By Jess Scanlon

For students who want to receive their Bachelor’s of Nursing Science (BNS) degree stat, Rider will be the place to go once the College of Continuing Studies (CCS) gets the proper accreditations to launch this new program.

CCS will admit students who have already completed the two-year program to become a registered nurse (RN) and are looking to build on that for a bachelor’s degree.

“Students entering the program must be RNs,” said Boris Vilic, Dean of CCS. “Consequently, they will have completed their clinical fieldwork prior to being admitted. However, the capstone course in our proposed major will also include an experiential learning aspect in field-based nursing leadership.”

This means that students in this program will not need to set foot on Rider’s campus to complete their degree. According to Vilic, they have the option of taking regular classroom courses as well.

“They will also be able to complete some of the coursework, depending on the classes they transfer to Rider, on campus,” he said. “For example, students with free electives will be able to take any course Rider offers as long as they meet the prerequisites and restrictions whether the class is on campus or online.”

The program cannot launch yet because it still has to receive approvals from both the State of New Jersey and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education before it can accept students. However, some members of the administration are eager to see it develop.

“It is exciting to witness the implementation of a new program which has been developed in direct response to the goals outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan, in this case, to increase opportunities for non-traditional students and to further develop our online learning efforts,” said Donald Steven, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

He also stated that the program was formed as a joint effort between two of Rider’s colleges.

“As this program was a collaborative effort between the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences (CLAES) and the College of Continuing Studies (CCS), it is gratifying to see faculty and staff across Rider’s colleges working together to create new ways of serving our students and extending the University’s reach,” Steven said.

The new program is not unlike others at nearby universities, such as the online program at Drexel University for RNs. Tuition will be the same as other CCS two-year degree programs and Rider has already reached out to introduce them to the program.

“We had preliminary conversations with colleagues from community colleges and healthcare systems,” Vilic said. “They welcomed our new initiative.”

Chris James, a sophomore biochemistry major, said he thinks expanding the offerings of the science programs, especially for CCS students, is a nice addition to Rider’s course roster.

“I think it’s great that Rider is expanding the variety of their programs, and putting more effort into online courses and continuing studies.”

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