ATLANTA—Georgia State University is offering a licensed practical nurse (L.P.N). to bachelor of science degree option to increase the number of registered nurses (R.N.) and address a national shortage of nurses, particularly in the South and West.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 175,000 new job openings annually, with the shortage of nurses.
In January 2021, Georgia State’s School of Nursing welcomes its first L.P.N. to bachelor of science in nursing students. The class of 15 from Emory University Healthcare begins a five-semester journey which takes them through Perimeter College’s L.P.N. bridge courses and the Atlanta Campus’ baccalaureate courses in a streamlined process.
Emory Healthcare needs an increased number of registered nurses and converting as many L.P.N. to bachelor’s-prepared R.N.s will help Emory Healthcare facilities.
The Georgia State consolidation with Georgia Perimeter College in 2016 made the L.P.N. to B.S. program possible. Perimeter offers an L.P.N. to R.N. bridge program, and the Atlanta Campus offers the R.N. to B.S. degree completion program. Merging the two in one streamlined program allows eligible L.P.N.s to earn the bachelor’s degree and prepares them to take the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurse candidates.
“This is an exciting program. These nursing students will graduate as well-rounded nurses with strong basic skills,” said Joan Cranford, assistant dean of nursing in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions.
As Emory Healthcare employees, these students will also have a unique clinical placement.
“When these students begin clinical rotations, they won’t need to be concerned with placements. They will complete clinical rotations within the Emory Healthcare System with a precepted model of one R.N. to one student,” said Cranford.
The program will also become a permanent addition to Georgia State’s nursing school, allowing a qualified nurse to move through the ranks from L.P.N. to a Ph.D. in nursing.
Georgia State is the first college or university in metro Atlanta to offer the L.P.N. to B.S. track and the first at a research university in the region.
“We are pleased to pioneer this new means of producing more registered nurses without sacrificing educational or patient care quality,” said Regena Spratling, associate dean and chief academic nursing officer.