Our program is guided by constructivist theory and grounded in evidenced based practice paradigms. While our educational approach toward our ADN nursing students is prescriptive and lock-step, such that students follow carefully designed courses and programming steps, the role of constructivism in our RN to BSN program is one where the learner is treated as an adult; the student is able to make decisions about his or her educational needs and be an active participant in that educational process. Constructivism is used to ground the acquisition of knowledge and define the learning process (Dantanio & Beisenherz, 2001). Because the baccalaureate level of nursing education prepares generalists who learn to critically think and use the literature to ground their nursing practice, constructivism as a programmatic educational theory allows the student to be a part of the learning process and not simply have knowledge delivered to the student (Legg, Adelman, Mueller, & Levitt, 2009).
The faculty believes that baccalaureate graduates practice within three interrelated roles: the provider of care, the manager of care, and the member of the profession (AACN, 2008). These roles are actualized through core competencies that differ in complexity from the practice of ADN to baccalaureate level. The faculty believes that the essential components of a baccalaureate education include:
Liberal Arts education is an integral part of our program to provide our students with the ability to integrate and apply behavioral, biological, social, historical, political, and economic concepts into their practice. We believe that the professional nurse is knowledgeable about leadership and management for changing health care environment and communicates effectively with clients and professional peers. Furthermore, the BSN graduate assumes responsibility to maintain and advance the nursing profession and is prepared for entry into graduate nursing education (AACN, 2008)
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