Riverside County's first four-year nursing degree became a reality at California Baptist University on earlier this month, as the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) gave its initial approval.
The BRN approval on Dec. 2 means that CBU may now admit students for the first cohort to begin coursework in the fall of 2006.
"We're pleased at the response from the BRN, and are eager to get the first cohort of students working toward their nursing degree," said CBU School of Nursing dean Dr. Constance Milton, in an announcement released by the private, Christian, liberal arts institution in Riverside, Calif. "CBU is investing significantly in this program because we recognize the necessity and the importance of increasing the numbers of highly-qualified nurses. We also wish to support the University's mission for the purpose of preparing competent, responsible practitioners who are committed to the service of others."
Milton added that the School of Nursing will proactively inform candidates of the criteria used to select cohort members so that candidates will have ample time to prepare.
According to CBU, the institution began enrolling first-time freshmen this fall as "pre-nursing" students. However, student applications, acceptance and enrollment for the BSN degree could not be opened to qualified candidates until the California Board of Registered Nursing approval was granted.
Milton said that the University will accept 40 students for the initial BSN class, and hopes to increase to accepting 60 students per year in the future.
CBU noted in its announcement that demand for nursing jobs, and nurses with the baccalaureate distinction, is high in the Inland Empire and enrollment is already limited at most schools in the region who offer the two-year ADN or Associate's degree.
In addition, development is now underway for an RN-to-BSN program that is designed for licensed registered nurses who are already working in the field to earn their bachelor of science degree through courses that are convenient for their work schedules.