Waynesburg University’s RN-to-BSN program ranked best in PA

Waynesburg University’s RN-to-BSN [Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing] program has been ranked as the best in the state of Pennsylvania for 2024 by Registerednursing.org.

When speaking about the ranking, the website stated, “Tailored for working nurses, the program combines flexibility with academic rigor, preparing students for leadership roles in nursing. With experienced faculty and a supportive online platform, Waynesburg University provides a quality learning experience.”

Regarding this, Chairperson of the Department of Nursing, Dr. Sherry Parsons said, “It’s very humbling for us to be recognized in this way, because we know there are a lot of really good programs out there, but we strive, internally, to do what’s best for our students.”

According to Parsons, Registerednursing.org rates a university’s program based on how many students are coming into that program, how many students graduate, the employment rates of post-graduates and student feedback.

Registerednursing.org’s Rankings and Methodology page listed The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) and The Council for Community and Economic Research (CCER) as their data sources when analyzing each nursing program.

While Parsons chairs the department, she explained that Dr. Lina Hixson, the assistant director for the Nursing Program, is the one who oversees the program’s day-to-day maintenance.

Speaking about the program, Hixson said, “I think what sets us apart is probably our personal connection with our students. Just because it’s a 100 percent online, asynchronous program does not mean you can’t have relationships with your students.”

Parsons also said, regarding the structure of the program, “…the students in the RN-to-BSN program are already working nurses, who are just looking to further their career; to obtain their BSN. So, we really try hard to kind of meet them where they need us to be with an online program.”

In addition, Hixson explained that, while she oversees the program, “…it’s the part-time nurses who provide the quality education for our students.” As working nurses, she said that the part-time faculty “…know how to bring the most current information to students.” She said this is important, because, “What’s happening in hospitals, and healthcare in general, is always changing.”

When speaking about the future of the program, Parsons said, “Having just been through our accreditation process, we were able to internally look at what are our strengths and what are some of our weaker areas, so that we can address those in the oncoming academic year.”

According to both Parsons and Hixson, the University has placed highly on Registerednursing.org’s list of top nursing programs for the past several years.