MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State’s Office of Continuing Education has revamped its RN to BSN program in the Philadelphia region.
The program, which Penn State Brandywine will host in collaboration with Penn State Abington, allows registered nurses (RN) to complete a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) through the College of Nursing — all while living and working in the Philadelphia region.
“The student body in the RN to BSN program is very diverse in terms of educational backgrounds, age and years of experience in nursing,” said Brenda Holtzer, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the RN to BSN program at Abington.
RN to BSN students spend their one-year program in hybrid classes, which meet once a week and review content online. They also receive opportunities to gain onsite clinical experience at local medical centers.
“This program really emphasizes management and leadership in the nursing profession,” said Margaret Bacheler, director of continuing education at Brandywine. “It’s flexible to accommodate work and family obligations, but it also includes community health outreach, shadowing at facilities and learning about different nursing methods.”
Students also work closely with nursing faculty from Abington to design programs that meet their personal needs as well as all BSN requirements.
“Our full-time faculty have several years of experience in nursing practice, administration and education,” said Holtzer, “and our courses are continually reviewed and revised to stay current with a rapidly changing healthcare system.”
Bacheler and Holtzer both view the updated regional program not only as a wise opportunity for current RNs, but as a positive contribution to local communities.
“Students have developed projects for course credit,” said Holtzer, “and then they’ve taken those projects back to their work environments.”
“There’s a national push right now for more highly trained medical workers, and employers recognize the Penn State degree as a credential of integrity,” said Bacheler. “This is not just a one-year degree completion program — it’s a way for Penn State to support healthcare workers in our community.”