College of Nursing answers workforce demand with new program in nursing education

The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing today announced the launch of a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree in nursing education aimed at addressing the state and nation’s nursing shortage.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Texas faces not only a shortage of trained nurses in the workforce, but a lack of educators to train those nurses. In 2011, the THECB reported that Texas schools turned away more than 11,000 qualified applicants primarily due to a lack of nursing faculty. Nationally, AACN reports that figure jumped to more than 75,000 qualified applicants who were turned away in 2011 due to lack of faculty, clinical teaching sites, space and budget constraints.

“Producing qualified nurse educators to fill necessary faculty positions is key to answering the demand for more nurses in the workforce,” said Texas A&M College of Nursing Dean Sharon A. Wilkerson, Ph.D., RN, CNE. “To help eliminate the bottleneck occurring in nursing education, our master’s program will prepare graduates to serve as educators in both the higher education and patient care settings.”

The inaugural class is scheduled to begin in January following an application period starting now through October 1. Students may apply for either full- or part-time study. Courses are delivered entirely online, allowing students to balance career, family and other responsibilities while advancing their education.

The program initially will accept nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (B.S.N.), with future plans to offer an RN-to-M.S.N. for registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma who wish to obtain an advanced degree. The admission requirements for the program are available at nursing.tamhsc.edu/msn/application-requirements.html, and prospective students can begin the application process at nursing.tamhsc.edu/msn/apply.html.

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