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Penn State to Offer Nursing Major Online in Fall 2013

by on March 07, 2013 10:08 AM

For the first time ever, students can obtain a masters of science in nursing degree through Penn State's popular World Campus system. The new program will begin next Fall and applications are now being accepted. 

According to Penn State, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment of medical and health services managers will grow 22 percent through 2020 and registered nurses who want to move into these and other health care management roles will need a master's degree.

Penn State's master of science in nursing is designed to allow nurses to complete the degree while working, according to a news release

"Penn State already offers a high-quality master of science in nursing degree at several campuses," said Janet Fogg, assistant professor of nursing and professor in charge of professional graduate programs for Penn State's School of Nursing. "We wanted to offer Penn State's first online graduate degree in nursing to reach nurses who cannot come to a Penn State campus. The flexibility of online education is ideal for RNs who are working full-time."

The School of Nursing offers the master of science in nursing (MSN), which will be delivered online through Penn State's World Campus. This degree meets an education need identified in the Institute of Medicine's "The Future of Nursing" report, Penn State officials said. 

"The report states that the more well-educated the nurse workforce is, the better patient health and outcomes will be," said Fogg. "To achieve these results, it is very important for nurses to continue their education."

Penn State says the online program offers registered nurses two master's degree options: nurse administrator and nurse educator. The core curriculum of the MSN program includes principles of health care policy and leadership skills needed to influence positive changes in health care within organizations and on a national, state or local level.

The program includes a clinical practicum, where students will work closely with a mentor in their area to apply what they are learning, as well as a written capstone project demonstrating their skills and competencies.

Applications are available online.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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