The University of Calgary's Faculty of Nursing is ending the year on a high note with the news that a new undergraduate program has been approved to launch next fall.
Beginning in September 2024, UCalgary Nursing will offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree that will eventually succeed the current Bachelor of Nursing (BN). While there is no one singular distinction between the current BN and the BScN, there will be a reduced time to completion for high school students enrolled in the program and a more streamlined admission process for some students with advanced standing.
“Our current BN has been operating since 2010 and it is a normal part of the evolution of knowledge that we address structural, pedagogical and content-related needs as well as student, faculty and stakeholder feedback," says Dr. Catherine Laing, BPE'94, BN'98, MN'08. PhD'13, interim dean of UCalgary Nursing. "Within a professional program like nursing, curriculum changes also occur in response to industry and regulatory needs and requirements.”
In 2019, the faculty began the substantial curriculum revision to ensure its programs would remain responsive to changing health-care and professional-practice landscapes. Other changes include a nursing course in the first year of study, a focus on Indigenous health, and added emphasis on nursing leadership and innovation in health care.
“The name change distinguishes the forthcoming program from the current one and follows a national and international trend in degree nomenclature,” says Dr. Andrew Estefan, PhD, associate dean of curriculum development. “We have been able to integrate feedback from a variety of stakeholders into the revised program and one of the elements we heard was to emphasize the relationships between the sciences, humanities and the diverse relational-ethical contexts in which RNs (registered nurses) encounter and care for patients. The name change reflects the knowledge that informs registered nursing practice.”
Estefan adds teaching and learning approaches have been included that promote resilience, a robust identity as a practising registered nurse and the skills required for lifelong learning in professional practice.
Both the BN and BScN prepare students to enter all areas of nursing practice in the fast-paced and dynamic health-care world. Students currently enrolled in the BN will continue to be enrolled in that degree, though students who have already applied for Fall 2024 admission will be migrated to the BScN and no action needs to be taken by them. Beginning next fall, all future undergraduate students will be enrolled in the BScN program.