College Launches Accelerated One-Year BSN Program

July 13, 2011

Dr. Susan M. O’Brien<br/>
Dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing<br/>
Thomas Edison State College

Dr. Susan M. O’Brien
Dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing
Thomas Edison State College

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State College has launched an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program for adults who already possess a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and are interested in becoming a registered nurse.

The new Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program at Thomas Edison State College is an intensive, one-year program that will prepare graduates for the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs (NCLEX). Candidates are required to have previously earned all general education and science requirements (60 credits) prior to being admitted into the program. Students will complete the remaining 60 credits of professional nursing requirements through online and on-ground courses at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J. and clinical nursing experiences completed at Capital Health’s facilities in Trenton and Hopewell Township, N.J.

“This is a demanding program for the serious student who wants to become a BSN-prepared registered nurse,” said Dr. Susan M. O’Brien, dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State College. “The program makes it possible for people who already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to enter a stable profession with many opportunities for professional growth.”

The program marks the first time that Thomas Edison State College will offer weekly classroom-based courses at its downtown Trenton campus. Students will complete a combination of online and classroom-based courses. Classroom-based courses will take place twice a week. Clinical experiences will also take place twice a week.

During their clinical experiences, students will care for patients under the guidance and supervision of master’s-prepared clinical nurse educators at Capital Health.

Patricia Cavanaugh, RN, MSN, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer at Capital Health, said that preparing registered nurses who possess the BSN credential is critical for the profession, especially at healthcare systems like Capital Health, that earn Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service, the highest level of recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

“It is not uncommon for nurses who earn their BSN and MSN to become leaders in the field,” she said. “We are excited about this new program and the wide range of clinical experiences that students will have at Capital Health as they earn their BSN degrees and join our ranks as registered nurses.”

All candidates for the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program are required to complete a criminal background check, drug screen, health and immunization verification, malpractice and health insurance and CPR certification. The first cohort scheduled to begin on Sept. 26, 2011 and complete the program on Sept. 25, 2012.

Applications are now being accepted. For more information, contact the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at (609) 633-6460 or

About Thomas Edison State College:
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Thomas Edison State College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The College is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Further information about admission to the College may be obtained by calling (888) 442-8372, via e-mail at or by visiting the College Web site at

About the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing:
The W. Cary Edwards Nursing Program at Thomas Edison State College was established in 1983 to provide academic and career opportunities for RNs in New Jersey who wanted an alternative to campus-based baccalaureate education. The School’s programs are accredited by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The online RN to BSN/MSN program, established in 2002, has more than 2,000 students enrolled from across the United States and approximately 25 percent of students in the School of Nursing are minorities. Of the more than 120 nurse educators utilized by the school, 23 percent are minorities and 72 percent are doctoral-prepared. Many graduates of the School have served in nursing leadership positions and approximately 30 percent go on to graduate-level nursing education.