OSU Trustees Approve Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

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The Oregon State University Board of Trustees Monday unanimously approved a new program at OSU-Cascades for registered nurses wanting to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

The board unanimously also amended the construction budget and plan for the Marine Studies Building in Newport and approved a remodeling project at Finley Hall, a residential dormitory on Oregon State’s Corvallis campus.

The Bachelor of Science in nursing program is scheduled to launch in the 2019-20 academic year as a part-time, fully online program aimed at licensed registered nurses seeking to advance their careers while continuing to work. With five to seven credits per term, the program could be completed by nurses in two years.

The program, which still needs the support of the statewide public universities’ provosts’ council and the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission, would be open to all registered nurses but is designed to increase diversity in nursing leadership positions, particularly among nurses who are bilingual.

“This program will produce high-quality leaders in the nursing profession while also making the profession more diverse and emphasizing public health and service to rural communities,” OSU President Ed Ray said. “It will cost half the price of many other bachelors of science of nursing programs in Oregon, and when future demand warrants it, we will offer the program as a one-calendar-year program.”

The board noted the program will address a shortage of bachelors of science of nursing-trained nurses in the state and in particular Central Oregon, where fewer than 40 percent of nurses have a bachelor’s degree.

The program, a partnership between OSU-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College and St. Charles Healthcare System, will focus on recruiting students from COCC and the greater Bend area. While the program is open to all licensed nurses in Oregon, it will focus on recruiting students from COCC and nurses in Central Oregon.

“The program supports our land grant mission of affordability, access and places a special emphasis on rural health issues,” said OSU President Ed Ray.  “In addition, improving health and wellness is a signature area of distinction for OSU.”

The board also approved modifications to the construction plan and budget for the Marine Studies Building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

The design of the second floor of the three-story building has been modified to accommodate an open-office concept, and the third floor will be shelled out to allow for future completion as new programs are developed and enrollment grows.

The changes bring the budget to $61.7 million (including $1 million in contingency funds). That amount is more than the initial $50 million approved in 2015 but down $3.2 million from a year ago, when market conditions and design elements, including vertical tsunami evacuation, had pushed the cost to $64.9 million.

“This fiscally conservative approach will meet immediate and near-term academic and marine studies initiative program goals while providing flexibility for the future,” Ray said.

OSU-paid bonds will cover the additional $11.7 million. The rest of the funding will be an equal split between state-paid bonds and gifts and grants. The third floor of the building would be built out over the next 3-5 years as additional faculty are hired and students are enrolled as part of the planned growth of the marine studies initiative. The future cost of building out the third floor is estimated to total approximately $4.9 million.

On the Corvallis campus, the Finley Hall renovation addresses deferred maintenance and capital renewal needs, including improving restroom accessibility and privacy.

The two-phase project will take place this summer and summer 2019 at a total cost of $10.5 million, which comes from University Housing and Dining cash reserves. Over the work plan, plumbing, bathrooms, kitchens, fire protection and lounges would be upgraded.

“The university combined two projects into one to maximizing savings on fees and expenses,” Ray said.

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About Oregon State University: As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Thanks to our outstanding faculty and students, Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined.

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