Livingston Parish nurses earn degrees through online program at Southeastern
Contact: Rene Abadie
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Registered nurses Shana Bounds, left, and Amye Reeves, both of Walker, pause a moment before Southeastern Louisiana University’s fall commencement where they received their bachelor of science degrees after completing a special online program designed to aid registered nurses with diplomas or associate degrees obtain their bachelor’s degrees.
HAMMOND – Three Livingston Parish nurses have earned undergraduate degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University through a special state program designed to encourage nursing students to complete requirements for a bachelor of science degree.
Amye Reeves and Shana Sibley Bounds of Walker and Pamela J. Alexander-Woods of Watson earned their degrees at Southeastern through the state’s adult-learning initiative known as CALL – “Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana.” Sponsored by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the nursing program at Southeastern is conducted completely online.
They were part of a group of 19 nurses to graduate in Southeastern’s program this spring. Approximately 70 students currently are enrolled in the program, which is designed to provide registered nurses who hold diploma or associate degrees the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree without having to physically attend classes on campus.
Jean Urick, who coordinates CALL at Southeastern, said the program addresses a critical workforce need in the region.
“Louisiana has a considerable number of licensed, registered nurses who are graduates of diploma schools or two-year associate degree programs,” said Urick. “Most are working full time, and it’s difficult for them to return to college to earn the bachelor’s degree, which is an important step in career advancement.”
“My hospital was really pushing for all registered nurses to be BSN nurses,” said Bounds, who works at in the operating rooms of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “I thought it was something I really needed to do. Since the program was all online it was very easy to work with my schedule. I had to be very disciplined in my time to get all the assignments due, but it was all worth it in the end.”
Alexander-Woods originally graduated from Our Lady of the Lake College of Nursing in 2004, where she earned an associate of science degree in nursing. With a goal of attaining her bachelor’s degree, she enrolled in Southeastern’s program in the fall semester of 2009.
Reeves, a nurse manager at Women’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, heard about Southeastern’s program at the hospital.
“I went home and got on the Web site to read about it,” she said. “I never would have been able to complete the BSN program so soon if I had to attend classes. It would have interfered or complicated things with my job. I would definitely recommend CALL to other registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s degree, especially if they are currently working.”
For more information on Southeastern’s RN to BS degree program, visit www.selu.edu/CALL or phone 985-549-5288.