University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) was founded in 1881 as an independent Medical College in Omaha. The college operated as a dental college until 1902 when it became part of University of Nebraska System. From that point, pharmacy, allied health and nursing programs were added and by 1942, the college had its first graduate programs. UNMC prides itself to being the only academic medical center in the state and strives to offer quality health care through innovative research in all its health programs.
College of Nursing at UNMC
The college of nursing at UNMC dates back to 1917. Through these years, the college has developed innovative and top tier nursing programs to suit the needs of most prospective nursing students. From bachelor degree programs to master tracks and doctoral degrees, students are bound to get a program that suits them. The college delivers the nursing program curriculum through its five campuses spread across Nebraska namely: Kearney, Lincoln, Norfolk, Omaha and Scottsbluff. All programs at the college are approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the bachelor tracks are approved by the Nebraska State Board of Nursing. Precise information about to each program is given herein:
For the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) prospective students, three tracks are available at UNMC College of nursing. However, all the programs are kind of completion programs as explained below:
- Traditional BSN Program
The traditional BSN program requires 120 credit hours to complete. Candidates for this program are pre-licensure but do not complete all their courses at UNMC. The college of nursing only offers 62 nursing major credits and as such, students must complete the other 58 prerequisites courses from a pre-nursing program in a 4-year college or university, or opt to take them at any University of Nebraska via on-campus or online modes.
Those who meet the 52 pre-requisites courses become eligible candidates for the traditional BSN at UNMC. Classes for the program commence on August each year and take 4 normal semesters to complete. There are five campuses as mentioned above, to choose from and part time options can also be arranged. Generally, a completion timeline of 4 years of full time study plan is needed if students transfer promptly to UNMC after taking prerequisites. Students are awarded the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and become eligible for initial licensure as registered nurses (RN) after taking the NLCEX-RN exam
- Accelerated BSN
The Accelerated BSN is an intensive 1 year program designed for baccalaureate graduates of other non- nursing programs. Like the traditional BSN, students must have completed their pre-requisite courses at a 4-year college. However, most students have this requirement met from their earlier baccalaureate program hence, only need to take the 62 credits at UNMC. The program is offered at Lincoln, Omaha and Scottsbluff campuses on a full time basis only.
Candidates are admitted annually on the semester commencing May and progress for a 13-week summer session and 2 16-week fall and spring semesters. Due to the intensive nature of the program, students may be required to attend evening and weekend sessions for their clinical rotations. It is strongly advised that students give-up their employment owing to the rigorous nature of the program. Completion leads to the award of a second degree Bachelor of Science in nursing from UNMC and eligibility to take NCLEX-RN exam.
RN to BSN
The program is meant for currently registered nurses (RN) who wish to advance their education from diploma or associate degree levels. The program is very flexible and is offered exclusively online via distance learning modes. Courses for the program can be completed at the students pace anytime with a few exceptions requiring synchronous/live online instructions from UNMC. Like the other BSN tracks, students must have completed their pre-requisite courses prior to admission.
It is a relatively short program that requires only 20-24 nursing credits since students are awarded up-to 42 credits in recognition of their diploma or associate degree. The program accepts students each spring semester for either the 1-year full time or the 1.5-3 years part time study plan.
At UNMC, BSN-Prepared candidates are welcome to apply for the Master of Science in nursing (MSN) tracks offered. A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and several Nurse Practitioner (NP) advanced practice registered nurse tracks are available as listed below:
- Acute Care NP
- Primary Care NP
- Adult Gerontological CNS
- Family Psychiatric Mental Health NP
- Family NP
- Nurse Leader/Executive
- Nurse Educator
- Pediatrics Primary Care NP
- Women’s Health NP
All courses for the MSN are delivered in online/ distance learning modes. Some courses can be taken at the students pace anytime via asynchronous modes while others require synchronous video conferencing. Students are free to conduct research and clinicals at their areas of convenience but must be supervised by UNMC-appointed preceptors. Usually, all tracks require 6 semesters of 3 years on a full time basis and 4-5 years in a part-time plan.
For all the listed specialty tracks above, one may choose to have the Nurse Educator courses concurrently in a dual training plan. In this case, students graduate with 2 specialty options; the nurse educator and any other track.
Post master’s PMC
UNMC offers post masters certificate (PMC) training programs in all MSN tracks listed above. The curriculum delivery mode, clinical requirements and suggested study plans are similar to those of the MSN. In addition, students can choose to take Nurses Education Training as their PMC of choice for their particular MSN specialty rather than a generic nurse educator PMC track.
UNMC also receives grants to offer special accelerated PMC programs. Students who enroll for these 3-tracks receive funding for their programs namely:
- Psychiatric Mental Health- Sprint Track Certificate (PIPN)
- Nurse Leader Executive Advanced Development (LEAD)
- Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Accelerated post masters certificate (GNP-MAP)
Advanced Rural Hospital Care Program (ARHC)
This is also a special post master‘s program designed for MSN graduates with a Family Nurses Practitioner (FNP) specialty. UNMC receives federal grants to train nurses on emergency and advanced critical nursing skills for rural hospital settings. The program takes three years of federal-funded training of both distance and interactive skills development at UNMC.
Doctor of Nursing Practice-DNP
The DNP program at UNMC is designed for MSN-prepared graduates with any MSN specialty tracks. It is a practice-based terminal degree that prepares nurses who are able to translate research findings into real clinical practice. The curriculum consists of 35 post master’s credit hours with courses from both the UNMC college of Health Sciences and College of Nursing. Students may choose from the full time or the part time study plans.
Doctor of Philosophy-PhD
The PhD in nursing unlike the DNP is a terminal nursing degree with a focus of preparing nurse scholars and researchers. The program has three focus areas of research in nursing education, Quality Health Systems, Health Promotion & Management of risked and chronically ill populations.
The postdoctoral nursing training at UNMC is open to all students who have earned a terminal degree in nursing. DNP or PhD graduates enter the training program as Post-doctorate Research Fellows under the Niedfelt Nursing Research program. The aim of the program is to strengthen the research skills of students. For applications, students must contact the post-doctorate office at UNMC
Continuing Education (CE)
UNMC is approved to offer CE needs for nurses. Registered nurses can take the CEs as live programs of teleconferencing or face-to face conferences. The college also offers online CE courses offered by other approved CE alliances. All the CE programs at the university are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The university is an American Nurses Credentialing Center accredited provider of nursing CE courses.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
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