Pacific Lutheran University announced that it will offer an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, housed in a new PLU nursing facility in Lynnwood, beginning this fall. The program will prepare graduates to serve as qualified nursing professionals in as few as 16 months to help address the critical shortage of nurses, according to a news release.
“This ABSN program will help meet an immediate need in the North King County and Snohomish County area, offering classes and training in the same community that we anticipate many program graduates will go on to serve,” PLU President Allan Belton said in the release.
The program will combine comprehensive online instruction with immersive simulation experiences to help students hone their clinical and critical thinking skills. Students will apply their expertise in clinical rotations at Seattle-area hospitals.
“The nursing shortage is putting extreme pressure on our health care systems,” Barbara Habermann, dean of PLU’s School of Nursing, added in the release. “The ABSN program provides a step forward in easing the crisis by swiftly and strategically training the next workforce of nurses.”
A 2021 Washington State Hospital Association survey of 80 hospitals revealed 6,100 nurses were needed to fill existing vacancies. Federal data projects almost 195,000 annual openings for Registered Nurses through 2030.
Prospective students in PLU’s ABSN program must have at least 60 transferable credits.
In a separate move to address the nursing shortage, Premera Blue Cross recently announced a $1.8 million grant to establish a new program at four colleges in Washington — including Green River College in Auburn and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey — to help Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.