First nurses graduate from new Online RN to BSN program

Posted on: May 13, 2013

TWC's Fort Sanders Nursing Department has graduated its inaugural class from its Online RN to BSN program.

Tennessee Wesleyan College’s Fort Sanders Nursing Department has graduated its inaugural class from its Online RN to BSN program. Mirroring the college’s traditional RN to BSN program which has been educating new nurses for nearly a decade, the Online RN to BSN was introduced this past year and is the college’s first online degree, designed to offer a flexible schedule specifically for registered nurses returning to school to obtain a Bachelor of Science in nursing

Teresa Arms, Rebecca Barnum, Dawn Cunningham, Krista Henderson, and Teresa Sikes worked alongside and were educated by TWC’s experienced nursing faculty, achieving their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in a year’s time.

“This program has definitely helped me grow as a nurse,” said Henderson, who gained an understanding of the organizational structure of hospitals and healthcare during her Tennessee Wesleyan studies.

“As a new BSN graduate, I am able to see the ‘bigger picture’ now when management comes to us nurses with a change. TWC’s BSN program has helped me gain a lot of confidence in my profession. My philosophy of nursing has evolved to a higher level that has broadened to not only incorporate the values and responsibilities of excellent bedside care for patients, but also leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and an understanding of the whole of the organization and how I, as a single person, can impact the nursing profession.”

A mix of online coursework and valuable training in clinical settings, the five inaugural graduates chose TWC’s Online RN to BSN program because of its structure to accommodate nursing students who are already working and are looking to continue their education while maintaining their career responsibilities.

“I watched these nurses grow both personally and professionally during the RN to BSN program,” Lisa Kirkland, TWC associate professor of nursing and faculty advisor for the Online RN to BSN students.

“The quality and depth of their online discussions changed as they ventured into new territory both in the online classroom and clinical experiences. I am pleased to hear two of the nurses are already moving into administrative roles with their respective employers and some of them are even discussion continuing their education beyond the BSN.”

Advancement in her career is what made Cunningham enroll in TWC’s Online RN to BSN program.

“Because of this program, I have moved into a different role professionally, a management role that I would not have been qualified for had I not started this program,” said Cunningham, who has been promoted to the Joint and Spine Coordinator at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn. “Obtaining my BSN has expanded my career and I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience at Tennessee Wesleyan.”

For more information on TWC’s Fort Sanders Nursing Department and the Online RN to BSN program, contact Nancy Ferguson, admissions coordinator for the nursing department, at 865-777-5100 or by email at nferguson@twcnet.edu.