TAMIU Meets Gov. Perry Challenge with $10,000 Degree
Posted: 9/6/12

TAMIU Meets Gov. Perry’s Challenge:
Offers $10,000 Degree in Nursing

Answering Texas Governor Rick Perry’s challenge to offer a $10,000 degree, Laredo’s Texas A&M International University has announced its Bachelors of Science in Nursing, an online delivery designed to help current RNs advance their career and sharply elevate their earning potential.

TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck said the innovative offering merges market needs with a responsive degree program adroitly delivered with recent advances in teaching technologies.

“We’re not only responding to the Governor’s challenge, but also addressing the critical need for BSN-holding nurses by creating an online program that enables the working nurse to secure this highly desirable degree.  Students in this program can be anywhere and take courses around their own schedule, completely from the comfort of their home, office, anywhere,” Dr. Keck explained.

Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU provost and vice president for academic affairs, noted that while the University has always offered an affordable version of the BSN completion degree, the utilization of online technology has helped to keep costs down even further.

“The completion degree has been a part of our College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ offerings for some time, but technology now enables us to compress both time and distance to further advantage students.  With this offering, students can easily complete the program in 18 months,” Dr. Arenaz explained.

Keeping Pace with a Changing Profession

Natalie Burkhalter, interim dean and associate professor with the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, said the TAMIU BSN program comes at a crucial time in national nurse preparation and changing professional standards.

“The Texas Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association are encouraging all A.D.N. and diploma nurses to earn their BSN.  The BSN is now the minimal preparation for any magnet hospital.  Here in Texas, the goal is that 80% of all registered nurses hold a BSN degree by 2020.  Simply put, the nursing profession has changed to meet the complex needs of modern medicine and the RN degree is the desired preparation,” Burkhalter explained.

How the Program Works

The program is ideal for the working registered nurse that graduated from an ADN or diploma school, Burkhalter said.

“The program is designed for the working nurse who has completed core course requirements of 52 hours.   An additional 37 semester credit hours of nursing at the upper division level are provided by the program and can be completed in 18 months,” Burkhalter said.

The program’s internet-web based platform for delivery allows students to connect to their TAMIU courses and resources such as the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library and Writing Center.  Courses will include online discussions, video presentations, and email communication between faculty and students.  Students will be able to create presentations for online delivery, write papers, submit them to electronic drop boxes and monitor their course progress online. Courses with clinical components are arranged near the student’s location with eligible preceptors.

“Locally, all three hospitals hire TAMIU graduates rapidly and support nurses going back to school.  TAMIU graduates are employed in schools throughout the region, doctor’s offices and clinics, dialysis centers, home health and hospice agencies as well as regional correctional facilities,” she added.

Burkhalter said additional nursing degree opportunities are also on the horizon.

“We are exploring another area of emphasis or specialization for our popular Masters of Science in Nursing and hope to announce that soon,” Burkhalter noted.

For more information about the TAMIU BSN Completion Program, contact  Natalie Burkhalter at 326.2579 or 326.2450,  visit offices in Dr. F. M.  Canseco Hall 304 or email  Natalie@tamiu.edu A dedicated web site with program information is located at: http://www.tamiu.edu/cson/rn-bsn.shtml

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu