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June 20, 2019

SVSU updates RN to BSN program to better serve working nurses

RN to BSNSaginaw Valley State University is adapting its curriculum to more effectively meet the needs of nurses who are seeking to further their education. This fall, SVSU will expand its academic program for registered nurses seeking a bachelor's degree in nursing, making it better suit the lifestyles of the adult professionals enrolled in the RN (registered nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program.      

“We asked registered nurses who are already in our program what changes might be recommended by their colleagues not enrolled in our program,” said Karen Brown-Fackler, chair of SVSU's Department of Nursing.

“We wanted to see what we should change to convince RNs to enroll.”

In response to that survey, SVSU added elements to the academic program that Brown-Fackler and her colleagues believe will entice nurses once hesitant to embark on an academic endeavor while simultaneously working a full-time job in the field.

The changes include the following:

  • Changing courses to completely online. Previously, classes involved attending classroom lectures.
  • Allowing students to begin the program at three points during each academic calendar. Before the changes, enrollees could only start the program in the fall semester.
  • Allowing enrollees to complete the academic degree at their own pace. Previously, nurses were required to participate in a schedule of courses that began in the fall semester and finished the following fall semester. As a result, nurses now can enroll when they want and take courses at their own pace.
  • Adding electives to the program that allow nurses to enroll in courses that can be used as credits for those also pursuing a degree in SVSU's Master of Science in Nursing program.

Brown-Fackler said the adjustments create a more flexible program for nurses who are busy people. Both she and Deborah Gibson, SVSU's RN to BSN program coordinator, say the adjusted program is better fit for a schedule that sometimes makes it challenging to tackle academic demands during traditional classroom hours.

“Nurses are often working full time and have families,” Gibson said. “This new program makes it easier for them to get a bachelor's degree.”

Brown-Fackler said the online courses are designed to be engaging. While those courses don't require visiting campus, students will enjoy a supportive connection with SVSU faculty, as well as a dedicated adviser.

“We make our online courses very interesting,” Brown-Fackler said. “A lot of our faculty record their lectures, so students aren't just reading books assigned to them. They're interacting and learning with the faculty.”

SVSU created its RN to BSN program more than a decade ago in response to a growing trend in the medical field to require registered nurses to earn bachelor's degrees.

Registered nurses interested in learning more about the program can contact Gibson at (989) 964-4184 or or visit