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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2011 May;42(5):223-32. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20110103-02. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

A hybrid classroom-online curriculum format for RN-BSN students: cohort support and curriculum structure improve graduation rates.

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School of Nursing, The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA.


As more registered nurses (RNs) return to school to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), innovative ways must be found to support them in this endeavor. Barriers for RNs who return to school include scheduling of coursework and fear of failure. One school of nursing with a traditional BSN program reviewed its RN-BSN track, with its low retention and graduation rates. With input from nursing leaders and nurses in the community, the school applied for and was awarded a 3-year Health Resources and Services Administration grant to redesign the RN-BSN program. A hybrid classroom-online curriculum is offered in a structured, sequential format so that the RNs are admitted once a year and must complete the courses as a group, in a cohort. Data collected from evaluations showed that program support, technology support, and social support from peers encouraged the RNs to "stay the course," and 100% completed the requirements to graduate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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