Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) received approval for a new degree program that will benefit nurses seeking professional advancement in the healthcare field.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges granted approval to SWU to offer a new RN to BSN degree program.

The RN to BSN program comes at a time when nurses are facing increased pressure to further their education in the growing healthcare industry. Nurses earning their BSN earn higher salaries, have more opportunities for management and leadership positions, and are highly sought out by employers for their advanced level of education.

Nurses who have earned their BSN also have improved critical thinking and decision-making skills, which leads to a safer environment for patients.

“A unique feature of Southern Wesleyan’s RN to BSN program is the attention placed on servant leadership through the provision of truly transformational experiences,” said Dr. Beth Fezio, dean and the RN to BSN program’s director. “These experiences will place a heavy emphasis on community action built on a foundation of faith and Christian leadership, and may include local, national, or even international travel to assess the needs of diverse populations, plan appropriate actions and provide evidence – based support and intervention.”

SWU has started accepting applications for the new online program, with classes scheduled to start August 20. The program is open to residents of most states in the U.S.

According to Dr. Todd Voss, president of SWU, the new program represents a “significant milestone” that will benefit those in the nursing profession with inventive learning opportunities in a faith-filled community.

“We are offering a program that provides evidence-based nursing practices, innovative use of technology, and servant leadership rooted in Christian ethics,” Voss said. “We will be utilizing a Digital Assessment Experience via Shadow Health, allowing our nursing students at SWU to perform their digital assessment experiences completely online.”

SWU will also seek national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.