At SSM Health, we are “growing our own” through an award-winning online RN to BS in Nursing program. Our partnership with Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville began in January 2015 for our registered nurses who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The accelerated RN to BSN program consists of six nursing courses exclusively online. Each course is eight weeks in duration with the nursing coursework designed to be completed in three semesters.
As knowledge workers, we recognize our responsibility to remain continuously engaged in our own professional development. We are lifelong learners and our commitment to this promise is operational in many ways.
Each nurse’s professional development at St. Mary’s begins with a comprehensive orientation process. This process is designed to successfully integrate each nurse into our health-care system.
Supporting educational efforts
We respond to our employees’ continuing educational needs with generous educational support and tuition reimbursement. Currently, 63 percent of our RNs have earned BSNs. Our goal is 80 percent by 2020. To support this goal, SSM Health, our parent organization, offers a unique opportunity for staff to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) to complete an online BSN degree.
Professional certification in a specialty or advanced practice area is highly valued and supported. Currently, 36 percent of our RNs are certified by a nationally recognized certifying organization, a higher rate than most Magnet® hospitals our size. On achievement of certification in a nursing specialty, our nurses are reimbursed for the certification fee.
We also partner with the Wisconsin Nurses Association to offer numerous free continuing education credits onsite, providing both support and convenience to our nursing staff. Our team of exceptional clinical nurse specialists supports the development of our nurses and our practice.