CMU Signs RN-BSN Agreement With Arkansas Consortium

Eight two-year college nursing programs involved

In a time when nurses are in high demand, Central Methodist University has taken an additional step to help other colleges increase the number of students who can advance from a Registered Nurse to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Central has signed an agreement with a consortium of two-year colleges across Arkansas, the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC), to provide their eight member-colleges with an RN-BSN program designed specifically for them.

Thanks to an existing bond between CMU and Black River Technical College at Pocahontas, with whom Central signed a partnership earlier this year, the opportunity became available.

The consortium was searching for a feasible way to expand their advanced nursing degree opportunities for students. The two-year colleges were able to award their students to an RN degree, but no further.

Black River Technical College has been impressed with how Central integrates BRTC’s work into CMU’s last two years of study where their students can emerge with a bachelor degree from Central, noted CMU Provost Dr. Rita Gulstad. With BRTC’s support the consortium voted to set up the agreement.

All of CMU’s RN-BSN program is delivered to consortium students online. Beginning in January 2017 students can enroll every eight weeks for classes. Most will be able to finish their BSN in 18-24 months. Although they will have been in cohort classes during their first two years, their BSN study will be completed individually at their own pace.

“One of the distinctions of the ARNEC consortium is that it is designed to meet the needs of nursing students in rural areas,” Gulstad said. “CMU aligns well with this mission in that we also serve many students from rural areas.”

The ARNEC consortium comprises Arkansas State University at Newport, Black River Technical College, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas at DeQueen, Ozarka College at Melbourne, Southern Arkansas Community College at El Dorado, University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton, Rich Mountain Community College in Mena, and University of Arkansas Community College in Hope.

Once students have attained their BSN degrees, they can continue their studies online with Central to attain their MSN – Nurse Leader degree or their MSN – Nurse Educator degree if they so choose, Gulstad added.


Posted December 8, 2016