College of Nursing in Norfolk to offer accelerated bachelor's degree in nursing

by Vicky Cerino
April 17, 2018

Image with file name: Nurse_Jason_and_teacher_Colleen_Kennedy_MSN_RN_1733_2_.jpg

As part of its continuing effort to address the state’s nursing shortage, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing will offer an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) program at its Northern Division in Norfolk.

UNMC’s College of Nursing currently offers accelerated programs in its four other divisions in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney and Scottsbluff. The college’s latest expansion of its programs includes a partnership with Wayne State College.

Accelerated BSN programs are one-year, intense programs that require students to take classes and do clinical rotations for three semesters in the spring, summer and fall. Students will begin classes on the Norfolk campus in January 2019 and graduate in December of the same year.

Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the UNMC College of Nursing, said the typical student in accelerated programs seeks a second bachelor’s degree and desires a career change to nursing. 

"Accelerated programs help address the acute nursing shortage. We are delighted to expand our accelerated bachelor's program in nursing," Dr. Sebastian said. "The need for nurses in Nebraska with BSN degrees is particularly acute."

Acceptance into an accelerated BSN program requires a bachelor’s degree in any field from any accredited institution, as well as prerequisite nursing courses. Students also must obtain a certified nursing assistant certificate before beginning the accelerated program.

Liane Connelly, Ph.D., assistant dean and associate professor, UNMC College of Nursing Northern Division, said Wayne State College has done something unique for its students who want to apply to UNMC’s accelerated BSN program.

"They built into some of their majors the prerequisite courses we require to apply to our program. This saves students time and money and makes it easier to apply at UNMC," she said.

Here’s how the program works: students will complete a bachelor’s degree in any major at WSC while also completing courses required for application to the accelerated BSN curriculum. Upon prospective graduation, students can apply to the accelerated nursing program.

"We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with the college for many years, knowing that students who complete coursework at Wayne State are very well prepared for our program," Dr. Connelly said. "We are pleased to partner with Wayne State College to offer the accelerated program to its students who wish to use their four-year degree to launch them into the bachelor’s degree in nursing program at UNMC."

Yasuko Taoka, Ph.D., dean of the Wayne State College School of Arts and Humanities, said she is excited about the partnership with UNMC because of the expanded opportunities it offers for WSC students in the nursing profession.

"The program provides an attractive pathway to a nursing degree for students at Wayne State, transfers from other schools, or even current employees of a nursing home or hospital," she said. "This is a great opportunity to pair current skills and interests with an education in health care, leading to a fulfilling and lasting career.

"The program is also flexible to accommodate adults considering a career shift. It will allow them to blend their previous experience with nursing education and training for a new career."

Those interested in the UNMC accelerated program can apply from March 1 to July 1. Students who need to complete pre-requisite courses for nursing can complete them this summer and fall then apply for UNMC admission.

To apply online, go to or to learn more, contact Diana Rizzo at (402) 844-7890, To get more information about the Wayne State program, go to

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