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Media contact: Ashlea Hudak, College of Nursing Communications Phone: (813)396-9642 E-mail:

USF College of Nursing Unleashes Powerful New Program for Registered Nurses Prestige, Innovation, Flexibility, Affordability USF Nursing Does it all Tampa, FL (December 16, 2011) – The College of Nursing at the University of South Florida unleashes a revolutionary RN to BS degree program for registered Nurses beginning in January 2012. This one-of-a-kind program delivers what students, employers, and the community told us was needed. USF allows students to choose one of three educational tracks: Leadership and Management, Patient and Staff Education, and Clinical Excellence.

The USF program provides focused educational options leading to select national certifications; an entirely online curriculum geared towards working adult students featuring full- or part-time program plans; the opportunity to earn a BS degree from a nationally and regionally accredited state university that can provide RNs with resources to attain educational and professional goals; and allows seamless transition to USF graduate nursing programs. “Instead of re-creating the wheel, we blew it up then built a rocket! RNs can mix and match from courses to create a unique degree that exactly matches their needs and those of their employers” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, Senior Associate Vice President of USF Health, and Dean of the College of Nursing. “This is a winwin program for Florida that will soon be considered the national model of RN education!” Today’s RNs are highly trained individuals, forming an integral part of interdisciplinary healthcare teams that are key to healthcare reform. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, the National League for Nursing and the Institutes of Medicine have all called for increased levels of BS prepared RN’s, and seamless transition to graduate nursing degrees. They report at this critical time, action is needed to build a more educated nursing workforce or put the nations’ healthcare further at risk. “The future is inter-professional healthcare teams working together to make life better, and at USF Health we are making it happen. To make this vision possible we all have to think outside the box. With this program the College of Nursing has done all that and more,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President of USF Health and Dean of the College of Medicine. “It addresses a key Institute of Medicine report that calls for a seamless transition for nurses to a higher degree. USF Nursing really has started a revolution in education for Registered Nurses that will help move the vision forward!”

In a state where less than 50% of the RN workforce is BS-prepared, USF’s new program is critical to help our hospital partners as they face Magnet status requirements to increase the percentage of RN’s with BS degrees to at least 80% by 2020, as stated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The USF College of Nursing has over 400 clinical affiliations across Florida, including partnering with 11 of the most prestigious hospitals in the Greater Tampa Bay area who played a key role in developing the curriculum for this revolutionary new program for RNs. “Tampa General Hospital is excited to have had the opportunity to be a vital part of the RN to BS program developed by the USF College of Nursing.” said Wendi Goodson-Celerin, MS, ARNP, NE-BC, CMSRN, Director, Nursing Education, Tampa General Hospital. “In response to the new ANCC requirements we have set a goal of 100% BS prepared RN’s by 2016, and the partnership with the USF College of Nursing is key to our achieving that goal!” - USF Health USF Health ( is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as pharmacy, and physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $394.1 million in research grants and contracts in FY2009/2010, the University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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