The University of Mount Olive has received initial approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) to open its pre-licensure BSN degree program. With this approval, UMO will begin enrolling students for fall of 2022.
“To say I am excited is an understatement,” said UMO Chair of Nursing, Dr. Joy Kieffer, “The journey to start this program started in fall 2018. It has included countless hours of work across multiple UMO departments and offices to get us to this moment. Nursing is something that will touch everyone at some point in their life…as a patient or as a family member, and the University takes its role in growing future nurses very seriously. I am honored that the UMO family has entrusted me with leading this opportunity.”
The process for NCBON approval began in fall 2018 with Kieffer leading the charge to help UMO start a pre-licensure BSN degree program from scratch. By 2019, the proposal for the nursing sim lab was built, the BSN curriculum created, and timing and resources mapped out to bring the proposal to life. A generous $1 million dollar gift by the late Dr. Thomas R. Morris was the catalyst the project needed to get off the ground. UMO hired Dr. Rebecca Niles as the Director of the Pre-licensure BSN Degree Program and Dr. Melissa Beck as Interim Director of the Nursing Simulation Laboratory. Work then began on creating a state-of-the-art sim lab on the second floor of the Communication building, which once housed the Moye Library stacks.
Completed in September of 2021, the 3,000 square feet, nearly $1 million sim lab will be the pinnacle of UMO’s nursing program. It contains two high-fidelity rooms with lifelike manikins, a low-fidelity room which can simulate an emergency department, and a debriefing room.
In July 2021, UMO hand-delivered the NCBON application to their Raleigh office and in October 2021, they hosted the NCBON onsite visit. “We met and/or exceeded all expectations on their scoring rubric and were placed on the January 2022 NCBON meeting agenda for a final vote of initial approval to begin our program in August 2022,” said Kieffer.
With today’s announcement of NCBON approval granted, UMO now has a full slate of offerings to include Associate of Science in General Studies (prenursing), pre-licensure BSN, RN to BSN, and three MSN tracks in (1) Nursing Education, (2) Nursing Administration, and (3) a dual-track in Nursing Education and Nursing Administration.
“Nursing at UMO is working diligently to accommodate the rising demand for skilled nurses, nurse educators, and nurse administrators through our undergraduate and graduate nursing programs,” said UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom. “This latest addition to our arsenal is one more opportunity for UMO to serve our students, founding church, and community through growing future BSN-prepared registered nurses that will serve the healthcare needs of Wayne and its surrounding counties.”
Applications are being accepted now for 50 residential or commuter students to enter UMO’s daytime track and 50 commuter-only students into its fast-track, which will run during the evenings, weekends, and all summer. Classes will begin in August. Interested candidates should contact, Dr. Rebecca Niles at rniles@UMO.edu or Dr. Joy Kieffer at jkieffer@UMO.edu.