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University boosts enrollment for online RN to BSN nursing program

Marshall University’s School of Nursing has seen a steady increase in graduates for its online RN to BSN program since the program was established in the 1970s.

The reason for this growth could be explained by the fact the program is completely online, according to the program’s director, Dr. Sandra Prunty.

“We have seen a push toward more nurses to have bachelor’s degrees due to The Institute of Medicine and its recommendation for the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees be increased to 80 percent by 2020,” Prunty said. “Our online bachelor’s degree introduces students to a wider range of competencies in areas such as health policy, community and public health nursing, leadership and evidence-based practice.”

Prunty said this is the largest graduating class they have had for several years, with 25 online graduates who will be recognized during Marshall’s winter commencement Saturday, Dec. 12.

“Our RN to BSN program is perfect for working nurses due to its flexibility and affordability,” Prunty said. “We have students in our program from Florida to California and from other areas across the U.S.”

Shelley Plescia, 37, of Los Angeles, works as a recovery nurse for a plastic surgeon in California. Plescia said she has never regretted her choice to enroll in Marshall’s RN to BSN program.

“I knew I needed my bachelor’s degree to move up as a nurse manager and Marshall’s online RN to BSN program gave me the tools to go at my own pace while learning exactly what I need to know to advance in my field,” Plescia said. “I chose Marshall because it consistently meets accreditation standards and allowed me to continue to earn a living while improving my skills. It really felt like it was no different than having my university down the road. I am so glad I didn’t wait.”

Plescia said she plans to pursue her online master’s degree in nursing education next fall.

To learn more about Marshall’s School of Nursing and its online programs offered through the College of Health Professions, visit or