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Pacific Lutheran University To Launch Accelerated Bachelor Of Science In Nursing To Ease Washington’s Nursing Shortage

Pacific Lutheran University To Launch Accelerated Bachelor Of Science In Nursing To Ease Washington’s Nursing Shortage

New program to put helping professionals on the front lines of care in as little as 16 months

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Image of PLU Nursing Student inspecting a mannequin patient that is laying down in a live nursing simulation room

Image: PLU/John Froschauer

April 20, 2022
By Veronica Craker
Marketing & Communications

Tacoma, Wash. —  Pacific Lutheran University announced that it will be offering an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, housed in a new PLU nursing facility center in Lynnwood, Washington. The rigorous program will prepare graduates to serve as qualified nursing professionals on the front lines of care in as little as 16 months.

“As a state leader in nursing education, PLU is committed to developing programs and initiatives that prepare high-quality nurses to help meet the healthcare needs of communities across the Puget Sound region and beyond,” said PLU President Allan Belton. “This ABSN program will help meet an immediate need in the North King County and Snohomish County area, offering classes and training in the same community that we anticipate many program graduates will go on to serve.”

Guided by the School of Nursing’s principles to deliver safe, effective, family-centered, and community-based care, the program will combine comprehensive online instruction with immersive simulation experiences to help students hone their clinical and critical thinking skills. Students will also apply their expertise during clinical rotations at Seattle-area hospitals.

“The nursing shortage is putting extreme pressure on our healthcare systems,” said Barbara Habermann, dean of the School of Nursing. “The ABSN program provides a step forward in easing the crisis by swiftly and strategically training the next workforce of nurses.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for registered nurses will increase by 9% through 2030, with about 194,500 openings each year. 

A 2021 Washington State Hospital Association survey among 80 hospitals across the state revealed that 6,100 nurses are needed to fill existing vacancies. The survey also noted that the average duration of an open RN position increased by 54% from 2019 to 2021.

While the need for nurses is well-documented, many colleges and universities are unable to increase enrollment in their nursing programs. In 2020, more than 80,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away from college and university nursing programs nationwide, due in part to a lack of facilities and nursing faculty, according to the research by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“We want to reverse this trend with a dynamic program that helps students find their calling and contribute to the greater good,” Habermann said. “With this program, we can prepare our students for rewarding careers while filling the pipeline of nurses in our community.”

The School of Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University has a rich history dating back to 1951. The school has earned a reputation for delivering outstanding, diversified clinical experiences and instruction to nursing students through partnerships with more than 100 healthcare agencies and community-based health organizations. During the past several years, the university’s BSN graduates have achieved a more than 90% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The new ABSN program will begin serving students in the fall. Prospective students must have at least 60 transferable credits. 

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About Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University, a private liberal arts university in Tacoma, seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care — for other people, for their communities, and for the Earth.