HSC College of Nursing earns key approvals for first degree programs

Nursing 1700rThe University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s new College of Nursing has received the necessary approvals to accept students to its first undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs this fall.

Both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently approved a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Practice Innovation. Applications for both programs close July 1, and the first nursing students will start classes in August.

“HSC’s focus with our College of Nursing is to create the next generation of nursing professionals who are innovators,” said Cindy Weston, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CHSE, FAANP, FAAN, founding dean of the college. “With these approvals, we are ready to educate new nurses and retain current nursing professionals through upskilling and reskilling to improve the health of our communities.”

The RN to BSN is for registered nurses with an associate degree whose next step is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students can earn their degree in two semesters after completing 30 credit hours. All coursework will be delivered online with some clinical experiences provided at HSC’s on-campus Regional Simulation Center.

The online MSN in Nursing Practice Innovation is for nursing professionals with a BSN wanting to continue and expand their education. It will incorporate five, 16-week semesters and condensed 12-week summer semesters. A part-time option also is available, extending the program into seven semesters. Students also will have the flexibility to pursue certification aligned with their area of specialization.

The UNT System Board of Regents approved the creation of the HSC College of Nursing in February 2023 to help address the shortage of nurses in Texas. In August, it approved the RN to BSN and the MSN in Nursing Practice Innovation. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the degrees in February. Approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges was the next step in the process, and the HSC College of Nursing learned the good news last week.

The College of Nursing also is expected to offer two additional degrees starting fall 2025. A traditional BSN and an MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner are pending approval from the Texas Board of Nursing, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

HSC offers nursing scholarships and awards that may cover up to 100% of students’ out-of-pocket tuition costs. To apply or learn more about HSC’s College of Nursing, please visit www.unthsc.edu/nursing.

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