New programs to address Nebraska's nursing shortage

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC strategic communications | February 16, 2021

Image with caption: Juliann Sebastian, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing

Juliann Sebastian, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing

As part of its continuing effort to address Nebraska's nursing shortage, UNMC will offer two new programs: a new master's degree program and a certificate program for internationally educated nurses. In addition, an accelerated option will be offered in the registered nurse to bachelor's degree in nursing program (RN to BSN).

Applications are being accepted now.

"There is a critical nursing shortage facing the U.S.," said Juliann Sebastian, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. "Nebraska is projected to have a shortage of 4,000 nurses over the next few years. This tremendous need requires creative approaches for expanding educational opportunities for nurses."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nurses is expected to grow by 15%, which is much faster than average.

The new Advanced Nurse Generalist Master's Degree in Nursing, which begins in the fall, is a new specialty track is for nurses looking to advance their skills and knowledge but are not seeking nurse practitioner certification.

The 39-credit hour program, which will be offered primarily online, will include a clinical practicum in the students' specialty clinical area with a preceptor. Short immersion experiences will be scheduled throughout on College of Nursing campuses.

Curriculum includes health care economics and policy, care coordination and organizational improvement.

"This master's program is ideal for nurses, particularly those in hospital or other direct patient care settings, who want to solve problems to enhance patient outcomes or seek leadership opportunities," said Missy Ofe Fleck, PhD, director of the program.

The college also will offer an eight-week option for the online RN to BSN program in addition to its current 16-week RN to BSN online program. The new option was added to increase flexibility for nurses who would prefer shorter courses.

The program, which is for registered nurses with an associate's degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing, is offered by the University of Nebraska through NU Online.

The second new program offered is Nursing in the U.S. Context, an undergraduate certificate beginning this May.

The goal of the program is to better prepare internationally educated nurses for practice in the U.S. and for exams necessary to make them eligible for RN licensure. An active RN license in the U.S. also is a prerequisite for applying to post-licensure programs such as the RN to BSN and master's and doctoral programs.

The program consists of a minimum of 12 undergraduate credit hours of coursework, clinical simulation and some hours in a clinical setting completed over two semesters. The curriculum provides an understanding of nursing and health care in the U.S., professionalism, communication roles and responsibilities, as well as practicing medical English.

For more information about the programs, contact Stef Boardman via email or by calling (402) 559-4113.


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Austin Brake
February 16, 2021 at 6:07 AM

These are all positive steps in the right direction but I would love to see a Paramedic to RN/BSN Bridge and a MSN (PreLicensure) offered.