Building a Healthy Tomorrow

It was in 1919 that, upon its establishment, the Mansfield General School of Nursing began to offer aspiring nurses the chance to earn a diploma in nursing. In 1997, the School of Nursing became the MedCentral College of Nursing offering students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree. The program has developed a reputation of providing a high-quality nursing education.  In 1980, Ashland University began offering practicing diploma and associate degree nurses the opportunity to obtain the same degree through the RN to BSN program.

It only made sense that in 2010, through Ashland University’s acquisition of MedCentral College of Nursing, these two degrees, along with a 15-month accelerated second degree BSN track, would join forces to create the only College of its kind in a two-county region in Ohio: Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing – breathing life back into the program just when the need for highly educated, well-rounded nurses is reaching its peak.

Today, these programs are preparing nurses to face the growing challenges in the healthcare industry and producing the high-caliber nurses our country needs, now more than ever.

According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the country will need a total of 2.8 million nurses by 2020, and predicts a shortfall of 800,000 nurses. In Ohio alone, the predicted shortage will be 32,000 nurses. Because of this, the need to provide quality pre- and post-licensure nursing education has become crucial.

The RN to BSN track in particular has taken the need to provide an education like this by the reigns. This web-based curriculum allows practicing nurses to continue their career by expanding their knowledge of healthcare management, policymaking and advocacy. It also prepares students to pursue a graduate degree.

“All of our RN to BSN students complete several business courses which provide an excellent knowledge base to pursue or extend healthcare management opportunities,” said Jackie Owens, director of the RN to BSN track. “Since they are already accomplished, practicing nurses, our goal is to help them self-select and develop skills of benefit to them as they grow in an existing role or prepare for work in a new specialty.”

And now, with a $15.5 million building campaign underway, the future of the Dwight Schar College of Nursing is as bright as the careers of all our graduates. Set to open in fall 2012, the new academic building on our Mansfield campus will feature state-of-the-art simulation laboratories and classrooms, designed to ensure each graduate is equipped with the skills they need to meet the demands of the healthcare industry today, and to have a bigger part in building a healthy tomorrow.

Follow the progress of the construction of the new Dwight Schar College of Nursing building at www.ashland.edu/nursing-campaign.