WGU Indiana students begin journey at Good Samaritan

WGU Indiana, the state’s online nonprofit university, has partnered with Good Samaritan to host a home cohort of nursing students working for their pre-licensure bachelor’s degree in nursing. The school’s first cohort recently began their BSN program at the Vincennes-based hospital.

“This unique partnership with Good Samaritan allows local WGU Indiana students and those in neighboring Illinois to study and practice close to home in Vincennes,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber. “We are able to address the growing need for nurses and health care professionals in Indiana by recruiting individuals and preparing for them for work in communities that they will serve.”

Good Samaritan will play host to a “home cohort*” of BSN students, and a majority of the students’ clinical work will be conducted there. The program is designed to enable students who want to continue working while completing their studies online, skills labs on periodic weekends, and clinicals over 3-4 week blocks. This unique structure maximizes application and experiential learning.

“This program hastens and strengthens the path into the nursing profession by providing coaching with an expert nurse in a supportive one-on-one environment,” said Karen Haak RN, MSN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer. “By partnering with WGU, Good Samaritan is building the skilled nursing workforce from within our own hospital.”

The model differs from traditional nursing education where theory, labs, and clinical components are spread over a full semester. A traditional nursing course starts clinical two weeks into a nursing term and spreads across several months. This presents a challenge in understanding the patient context and implementing evidence-based care and clinical reasoning for the patient population. Comparatively, WGU students will have covered theory and clinical reasoning competencies in a nursing course before beginning the clinical intensive. WGU students can “hit the ground running” and will experience full 12-hour shifts working with teams providing them with true-to-life nursing experience.

WGU Indiana’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university offers a pre-licensure BS in Nursing, an RN to BSN completion track for Registered Nurses and two MSN program tracks with an option for RNs to accelerate into the MSN track (RN to MSN). For more information on the WGU and its nursing programs, visit: http://www.wgu.edu/online_health_professions_degrees/online_healthcare_degree.

*Home cohort (definition): A partner hospital enters into a partnership to provide clinical placement resources for students who move through the BSN program as a small cohort. The hospital supports those clinical education needs throughout the program with the goal of fostering baccalaureate-level education and developing their future nursing workforce.

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