Wednesday, April 30, 2014

According to Ray Perryman: "Texas needs to invest in education"

I was fortunate enough to be among 300 colleagues at a recent business breakfast at the Ridglea Country Club on April 23, 2014.  I was familiar with Mr. Perryman but had never had the good fortune to hear him speak before.

Perryman's talk was titled Impact of the National Economy on the Region. He shared with the audience that he felt Texas was in a good economic position but that it faced a number of "long term challenges" including the need to fund public education.  He went on to say that we are not spending enough on schools or on the infrastructure for schools.  He felt that this lack of investing in education would hamper the state's ability to attract corporate relocation's.  In addition, if we do not invest in education we will ultimately take in 4 billion a year less.  In this case, we would not have enough educated workers to perform in the current job roles and our tax base could increase.  As he stated, we need to commit a certain number of resources in order to remain a low-tax state.

I was moved by the idea of the importance of increased education at levels.  We all love living in Texas for many of which is low cost education and a low tax base.  Why not invest in our own education and that of our children by making a commitment to further our Registered Nurse (RN) education?

If you are an Associate Degree Nurse (and I am proud to have received my RN degree from an Associate Degree program) and wonder what the value is of a Baccalaureate nursing education, please think about the need for Texans to invest in education so that we can remain a low cost state.  If you are already a baccalaureate prepared nurse (BSN) please consider furthering your education and obtaining an Master's degree in Nursing.

Tarleton State University has two programs available in the Fort Worth area.  We provide baccalaureate nursing instruction (RN-BSN) to Associate Degree prepared RNs in downtown Fort Worth at the Trinity River East campus.  In addition, this fall (2014) we will provide RN-MSN or BSN-MSN instruction to students on our campus at 6777 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Wouldn't you love to invest in your education?  Let us help you do so in a succinct, cost-effective manner...
Check us out at: for our RN-BSN program!  We would be honored to be part of your investment in yourself...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What is the value of a baccalaureate nursing education? (Part 2)

As I stated to you in Part 1 of this article, I started my nursing education in a traditional manner. I received the building blocks required for a Registered Nurse...and Associate Degree in Nursing that was heavily concentrated with patient care and diverse clinical experiences.  I was fortunate enough to work with nurses as preceptors that were extremely helpful, nurturing, knowledgeable and supportive.

 I started nursing school as somewhat of a mid life career change so I planned in advance to continue my education and to receive my baccalaureate degree.  I took the prerequisite classes that I was going to need for acceptance into an RN-BSN program simultaneously with my classes for nursing school.  These classes were available on my same campus and I was able to take them in the summer. This allowed me to be successful both in my classes for nursing school and in my classes to transition into an RN-BSN program.  All along my plan had been to start my RN-BSN classes as soon as I was able to work it out with my employer following a rigorous Graduate Nurse Internship program in Trauma Step-Down.  I began my RN-BSN classes (2 semesters) 8 months after I started working as an RN, and for me, this was the perfect amount of time to be prepared for the classroom again.

My program was a "face to face" program which met one day a week for two 16 week semesters.  My employer was extremely flexible with my scheduling during this time and I continued to work 3 12-hour shifts per week while going to school full-time.  I enjoyed the interactions with my fellow students and direct contact with nursing faculty.

Tarleton State University (TSU) offers the same learning opportunity for our RN-BSN students. Classes are taught face to face in a comfortable, familiar environment on the Tarrant County College (TCC) Trinity River East campus in downtown Fort Worth.  Our students are linked to the campus already for their nursing school classes so it is a very easy transition for them into baccalaureate classes.  There are state articulation agreements in place to facilitate ease of course transfer credits earned in an Associate Degree program. TSU has advisers in place on the TCC campus and at our campus on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth and are happy to meet face to face, through email, or phone.  We hope you will consider the long term outcomes of furthering your education and earning your baccalaureate degree in Nursing.  Some long term outcomes may include upward movement within a healthcare facility, greater opportunities within the profession, and the opportunity to pursue graduate nursing education and move into an advanced practice role (Stalter, Keister, Ulrich & Smith, 2014).

Stalter, A., Keister, K., Ulrich, D., & Smith. S. (2014).  Overcoming the barriers to achieving a BSN part 2.
         Nursing 2014, 44(4), p. 46-49.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What is the value of a baccalaureate nursing education? (Part 1)

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice outlines the typical expected path for a BSN prepared nurse.  This reference states that Baccalaureate generalist education is the foundation upon which all graduate nursing education builds.  In addition, generalist nurse education occurs at a minimum in a baccalaureate degree nursing program.   In the university setting nursing, like every academic discipline, is grounded in discrete inquiry-based applications that are distinctive to that discipline (AACN, 2008).  

 Faculty have a responsibility to facilitate the translation of knowledge from a general studies curriculum into the practice of nursing.  Nursing faculty introduce nursing science and theories while guiding the student to develop an understanding of the discipline of nursing's unique perspective.  

What is your plan to continue your nursing education if you are an Associate Degree prepared nurse or a Diploma prepared nurse?  

What is holding you back from registering for an RN-BSN program? 

 Do you have questions that I can answer for you about the value of a baccalaureate degree?  I went the traditional route, like you, for my RN degree. I was an associate degree prepared nurse who transitioned into an RN-BSN program after I graduated and began my RN internship/residency.  This was just the beginning though...look for Part 2 to hear the rest of my story and my plan for my future...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Community College nursing students bridge to Baccalaureate prepared nursing programs

From the April 2014 White Paper organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled:  Summary of the 2013 Community College President's meeting and progress in the year since it was convened comes some of the following dialogue: Community colleges have a role to play a role in preserving nursing as a profession. In partnership with community colleges, we can influence social change.
Through (Academic Progression in Nursing) APIN and the Center to Champion Nursing in America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is supporting the development of innovative, sustainable models that support seamless academic progression. Through grants to nine states (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington), APIN is testing four promising practices for academic progression: RN-to-BSN degree conferred at a community college; state or regionally shared competency- or outcomes-based curriculum; accelerated options of RN-to-Master of Science in Nursing (MSN); and shared statewide or regional curriculum that offers seamless progression and shared curriculum.
Several promising models are in place, and the community college meeting participants heard updates on three—from New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. Each is based on strong partnerships and close collaboration between community colleges and universities. Participants at the meeting lauded the APIN presentations without hesitation after hearing about how these strong partnerships are producing seamless academic progression for students.
This is a dynamic and unique time in the history of the nursing profession. Community college and university nurse leaders are working collaboratively for the benefit of students and patients. Meeting participants agreed that the synergy is compelling and unique, and the nursing community is no longer working in silos. They recognize academic progression for graduates of community college programs as part of the solution to improving the quality of patient care across all   settings, addressing the nurse faculty shortage, preparing nursing scientists and advanced    practice nurses, diversifying the nursing workforce at all levels, and developing a more highly educated nursing workforce. They support equitable relationships between nursing professionals within systems that interact seamlessly.
The Future of Nursing (FON) report and RWJF’s work around academic progression have helped to bring together schools, students, employers, and professionals to make positive change. Several community college presidents at the meeting said they believe current conditions present an opportunity to respond to market challenges and improve nimbleness. They see this as their responsibility to their communities and their students.
Many community colleges foster a culture that promotes and values academic progression. Their faculty members encourage students to continue their education and strive to expose them to all available educational pathways and opportunities. They want to see this encouragement become the norm at all community colleges, with AD nurse educators encouraging students to become lifelong learners—and, they say, community college students must have access to clinical placements, financial support for their education, and high-quality jobs.
An excellent option for AD nurses continuing their education and obtaining their BSN degrees is available at Tarleton State University Fort Worth.  The mission and vision of Tarleton State University are closely aligned with the philosophy of APIN and the RWJF.  We provide face to face classes for existing AD RNs tailored to the RN's practice needs and work/life balance.  Check us out at
For more information:

Monday, April 7, 2014

What is the purpose of furthering your nursing education in Fort Worth?

In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to respond to the need to assess and transform the nursing profession. The IOM appointed the Committee on the RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the IOM, with the purpose of producing a report that would make recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing.
As part of its report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the committee considered many challenges that face the nursing education system and some of the solutions that will be required to advance the system. It determined that nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
The ways in which nurses were educated during the 20th century are no longer adequate for dealing with the realities of health care in the 21st century. As patient needs and care environments have become more complex, nurses need to attain requisite competencies to deliver high-quality care. These competencies include leadership, health policy, system improvement, research and evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration, as well as competency in specific content areas such as community and public health and geriatrics. Nurses also are being called upon to fill expanding roles and to master technological tools and information management systems while collaborating and coordinating care across teams of health professionals. To respond to these increasing demands, the IOM committee calls for nurses to achieve higher levels of education and suggests that they be educated in new ways that better prepare them to meet the needs of the population
In order to be better prepared to care for patients in the hospital, long term care, skilled nursing, or rehabilitation facilities nurses must achieve higher levels of education and must be educated in innovative ways that are relevant to the patient population in Tarrant, Johnson and Parker counties.  
Did you know that Tarleton State University has a campus in Fort Worth that prepares Associate Degree RNs to receive their Baccalaureate (BSN) degrees?  We offer full and part time options in a face to face setting on the Trinity River East Campus in downtown Fort Worth.  
In addition, we will be offering RN-MSN classes this fall at our Fort Worth campus conveniently located on Camp Bowie.  These classes will be offered face to face in a comfortable environment.
Tarleton State University offers low tuition rates and designs course offerings around working nurses.  Students are able to finish their degrees in as little as one year in the RN-BSN program.  Come check us out!  We are the best kept secret in nursing education in Fort Worth!