By Baptist Message staff
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM) – The Louisiana State Board of Nursing has approved a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science for Louisiana Christian University.
Approved during the board’s April 13 meeting, the new program that will begin in January 2024 aligns with the Next Generation National Council Licensure Examination to adapt to the evolving demands of the healthcare system. The move also will allow for better assessment of students’ clinical judgment skills and will be offered in a nontraditional method based on new higher education trends.
“The examination that was utilized in the past, while it was effective and good, it didn’t accurately measure what nursing are actually doing,” said Dean of Nursing Tomekia Luckett. “The next generation test is what has led to the transitions. It’s to prepare them for the nursing care they do now. It’s more focused on their ability to make decisions and clinical judgments. Basically, they are thing is standing between life and death for our patients. We are hoping to see our nursing students better prepared to make those clinical judgments so that in a crisis situation they know exactly what to do, they know exactly what needs to happen so that they are better prepared for the patients they see.”
The LCU nursing program will offer a BSN with two tracks, traditional and accelerated.
Students entering the traditional track are required to complete 70 hours of prerequisite coursework (61 hours of general education and 9 hours pre-nursing), while students who are taking the accelerated track must complete 35 hours of prerequisites (26 hours of general education and 9 hours of pre-nursing) to be eligible for entry into the nursing program. Students are only considered for the accelerated track if they have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree.
Once accepted into the nursing program, students will progress through the curriculum which consists of 17 nursing specific courses totaling 50 credit hours. With the exception of the summer semesters, courses are designed in two 7-week blocks allowing no more than 3 classes scheduled for each of the 7-week blocks. The final semesters of both tracks will require students to take some classes over the entire 15-week semester while also taking some nursing courses in a 7-week term.
APPLYING THE HEART OF CHRIST
“We prepare nurses to go out and apply the heart of Christ to the hurt of humanity,” LCU President Rick Brewer said. “We believe it, live it and support it.”
Barbara Griffin, Chief Nursing Officer for Rapides Medical Center, said she is grateful for LCU’s investment in training future nurses who are called to the profession.
“Ultimately Rapides Regional Medical Center could not do what we do for our patients without the work that is being done without LCU,” she said. “We are counting on you to educate the next generation of nurses. We know our best chance of recruiting quality nurses comes working hand in hand with our local nursing programs that produce quality students.”
Shannon Forrest, Chief Nursing Officer for CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, echoed the thought.
“In your time of need, when you have a crisis, the one thing you don’t want to be without in a Registered Nurse,” she said. “So we are so excited to be able to partner with Louisiana Christian University during this great launch of this new program.
“One of the things that I appreciate so much about LCU is your mission statement because it is so in line with ours which is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” she continued. “And that is what nursing is all about. It is about healing. It is about the calling that God has placed upon our lives to do His work.”
Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn closed the news conference with a prayer for God’s blessing over the new program.
“We gather in this place today recognizing that in various points in biblical history, there’s always a mark of a new day, of transition, a moment in time,” Horn prayed. “We mark that day today on this occasion to recognize a new nursing program and a new day. We pray that as the apostle Paul declared that we would be able to have that moment where we look back but we look forward, we look ahead. We fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We are asking you today to do that at Louisiana Christian University, in the nursing program, that indeed the vision that is being declared today would be realized with nurses, not only in this city but all throughout Louisiana and beyond with graduates of this nursing program indeed being the hands and feet and mouth and voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. May it be that this day declares a new day and that we look back on this day for future generations as something that we now did would give you all the praise and all the glory.”