By Richard Asinof
EAST GREENWICH – The New England Institute of Technology will offer Rhode Island’s first online nursing degree program, college officials announced on Jan. 17.
Online classes are scheduled to begin in March for what’s called the “Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing” program. It is designed for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing, enabling them to earn a B.S. in Nursing in six quarters or 18 months, explained Richard Winstanley, an assistant provost at NEIT.
Currently, there are about 100 nursing students pursuing an associate degree in nursing at school, out of a total of 3,000 students, according to Winstanley. “We hope to have about 20 nursing students enrolled in the new online degree program,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing it very well, and that may mean that we start off a little smaller.”
The courses of study are conducted totally online, using a software program, Blackboard. “It’s the second online program of study offered by NEIT,” Winstanley said. “The first was an Information Technology online program.
To enroll, you do not need to be a resident of Rhode Island. The cost of the program is about one-half the cost of the school’s associate degree program in nursing, Winstanley said.
School officials cited the importance of nursing, saying that it was the largest health care occupation in the nation, with RNs holding about 2.8 million jobs, according to recent statistics.