Written by Morgan Wrigley // Graphic by Cooper Turman
Harding has introduced a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in January at the Rogers, Arkansas, campus that offers the opportunity to gain a BSN in as little as 16 months.
BSN admissions director Jeanne Castleberry said the new degree is a fast-track program that is not for everyone.
“This program is a hybrid program, which means the lectures are online and the labs and clinicals are in person,” Castleberry said. “The student has to live within 100 miles of the facility in Rogers, Arkansas, to be eligible for the program.”
Castleberry added that the program is meant for those who have completed 64 hours or already have a bachelor’s degree, and all liberal arts courses must be completed before entry.
The hybrid program uses a rigorous curriculum that combines online coursework with on-site labs and clinical rotations.
“There is such a large need for nurses right now and accelerated programs are another avenue through which the nursing shortage can be lessened,” senior nursing student Kayla Cesone said.
Cesone also said she believes the program can be great for someone if they have the time to complete it.
“I could see it being appealing to someone who has realized they want to be in nursing after completing another degree, so without the gen-eds and prerequisites in the way, students can progress faster through the program and start working as a nurse faster,” Cesone said. “Nursing school is such a hands-on learning experience, which makes it a great degree for an accelerated program if you have the time for it.”
Senior Kelcy Mayes added that this program could serve some students well in multiple ways.
“It allows you to still go to Harding’s accredited program without having to uproot your life if you were in Rogers,” Mayes said.
Reflecting on her own time as a nursing student, Mayes emphasized the taxing nature of the program.
“It has been really difficult over the past two years … So if it could be condensed into 16 months or however long the program is, that would be beneficial because it would shorten the duration,” Mayes said.
Mayes also said she would have loved to do an accelerated program to acquire her BSN sooner.
Castleberry said that for now, the opportunity will solely be offered at the Rogers campus, while the Searcy campus will stick to the traditional path.
“It’s possible for the future,” Castleberry said. “But the Searcy campus has a wide variety of other options for students like study abroad, adding a minor, second majors, campus life, et cetera.”
The Accelerated BSN (ABSN) page on Harding’s website said students who enroll in the Harding University ABSN program for the 2023 school year will automatically receive a $10,000 scholarship upon admission.