Cedar Crest College in Allentown to Launch Online Master of Science in Nursing Program in Spring 2016
ALLENTOWN, PA – September 11, 2015 – Starting with the spring 2016 semester, Cedar Crest College will offer its successful Master of Science in Nursing degree program online.
The program is certified by The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Part of the college’s School of Graduate and Adult Education (SAGE), the program’s switch to an online format was in response to student demand and trends in higher education.
“The college’s RN-to-BSN program, which started two years ago, is an online program which has proven to be very successful in that format,” said Gaetan Giannini, Dean of SAGE. “So it made sense for the MSN program to transition to being online based so as to allow our adult professional students the most flexibility with their work and personal lives.”
“An MSN degree has the ability to open doors for nurses,” said Wendy Robb, Ph.D., RN, Chair of Cedar Crest’s Nursing Department and Associate Professor. “This advanced degree educates nurses to specialize as educators and administrators, thereby becoming the next generation of nursing leaders.”
Launched in 2008, the MSN program received accreditation in 2010 and has seven faculty members, six of which are doctorally prepared educators. The existing faculty members will teach the online courses. Robb led the team that originally created the MSN program, and is now spearheading the launch of its online format along with Sharon Melincavage, EdD, RN, Director of the Graduate Nursing Program.
Students can enroll in the program in 2, 3 or 4-year tracks, allowing them to set their own pace based on their schedules, as well as their employer’s reimbursement policy. They can choose to pursue either a nurse educator or nurse administrator specialty. The first nursing students will begin the online program with the spring 2016 semester. Students can complete the program in as few as two years by taking two seven-week-long courses each spring, summer and fall semester for the first year, with upper level courses and clinical courses conducted in a 14-week format. Classes are asynchronous which allows students to be flexible when deciding when they want to complete their course work.
“Online education has become more widely accepted and as such we are seeing greater demand for online options,” said Robb. “We’ve proven that quality programs such as advanced nursing degrees can be taught online. The MSN online program will be a perfect marriage of Cedar Crest’s long-standing reputation for nursing excellence with its newer reputation for accessible online education for working adults.”
Cedar Crest has become well known for its online educational opportunities having recently received a ranking by Affordable Colleges Online in the top five Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania for 2015-2016. The independent ranking took into consideration a college’s quality of online curriculum, cost, and student support.
“Online learning allows busy working professionals the flexibility to do their lessons based on their availability each week,” Giannini explained. “The online MSN program will also allow nursing professionals who work a late-day or overnight shift the ability to complete the program, which is not possible with the current classroom-based program due to the timing of evening classes each week.”
“Due to the ongoing national nursing shortage, the Institute of Medicine released its report on The Future of Nursing in 2010 which called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN) in the workforce to 80 percent and doubling the population of nurses with doctoral degrees,” explained Robb. “It also encouraged the development of a more streamlined educational process for nurses who want to seek advanced degrees. And our new MSN online program will help to achieve all of those important goals.”
Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College was selected as a “Top Regional College” and “Best Value” in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The liberal arts college is committed to the education of women leaders in an increasingly global society. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students—full-time, part-time and graduate—in more than 30 fields of study. Cedar Crest also provides opportunities for non-traditional and graduate students through its co-educational School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE). For more information, visit www.cedarcrest.edu.
Tracey Werner, Blabbermouth Communications