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Regents College of the University of the State of New York (USNY) offers nursing degree programs that are self-paced and accessible for adult learners. Students receive guided independent study in the form of advisement and degree planning, but learning course content is the responsibility of the student. An evaluation of the program was conducted to provide educational accountability and address criticisms that Regents College nursing graduates lack necessary experience to be fully socialized members of the profession. A random sample of graduates from the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN, n=2,800) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, n=1,900) degree programs were sent questionnaires, and their supervisors were also sent questionnaires. With response rates ranging from 51 to 76 percent, results indicated that over 90 percent of graduates remained in nursing. Nearly half of the BSN graduates went on to earn advanced degrees and 20 percent of the ADN graduates went on to earn the BSN. Participation in professional activities (conference attendance and regular reading of professional journals) was reported by nearly all alumnae. Corroborating evidence about alumnae level of professional competence and participation in professional activities was obtained from supervisors. Supervisors rated Regents College nursing graduates as slightly better on nursing skills and critical thinking skills than traditional graduates of campus-based programs. (JDD)

Descriptors: Associate Degrees, Bachelors Degrees, College Graduates, College Outcomes Assessment, Educational Quality, Employer Attitudes, External Degree Programs, Graduate Surveys, Higher Education, Independent Study, Noncampus Colleges, Nontraditional Education, Nursing Education, Outcomes of Education, Program Evaluation

Autor: Melburg, Valerie; Hanner, Mary Beth


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