May/June 2000

New Opportunity for Nurses to Earn Baccalaureate Degrees On-line


Catholic Health Initiatives and Regis University, Denver, Colo., are working together to enable registered nurses within Catholic Health Initiatives to earn baccalaureate degrees on-line. "We see this as an opportunity to support professional development, improve the quality of patient care and promote the retention of nurses," said Bobbie Ingram, vice president and chief nursing officer for Catholic Health Initiatives.

Beginning in the fall of 2000, the School for Health Care Professions at Regis University will offer its RN to BSN course work on-line to groups (cohorts) of Catholic Health Initiatives nurses. The nursing portion of the curriculum is 30 semester hours long and can be completed in 19 to 21 months, depending on start date. Students can complete general education requirements for the degree in their home communities or on-line.

The program includes two required on-campus intensives, which usually last four days. Catholic Health Initiatives will add a day to these intensives in order to provide nurses with some special activities at the Denver national office.

"Regis University is a Catholic, Jesuit university with a long history as a leader in innovative higher education for adults in both on-campus and on-line formats," said Ingram. "Our organizations have much in common, including our Catholic heritage and our commitment to excellence."

Market-based organizations may establish their own cohorts of nurses for the program or can join with other market-based organizations to form a cohort. For each full cohort of 15 nurses, Regis University will provide a $500 grant to fund a scholarship.

Nurse executives within Catholic Health Initiatives have received a packet of information from Regis University about the program, fees and application process. For more information, contact Bobbie Ingram at 303/383-2684 or
bobbieingram@chi-national.org; or Patricia Ladewig, dean of the School for Health Care Professions at Regis University, 303/458-4174 or pladewig@regis.edu.