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New Fresno Program Offers Bachelor's Degrees for Working RNs



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A new program will enable local registered nurses seeking a bachelor’s of science degree to complete their studies while working.
Kaiser Permanente Fresno is teaming with Samuel Merritt University to provide a 20-month “RN to BSN” program. Classes are scheduled to start in January 2020.

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“This program removes barriers by allowing them to go to school while they are still working, so they can position themselves for better career opportunities in the future,” said Karen Strauman, the chief nursing executive for KP Fresno.

Scholarships Are Available

The five-semester program consists of a weekly face-to-face class, online coursework, and clinical rotations in community health agencies, according to a KP Fresno news release. The goals for students include learning about evidence-based care, broadening community health training, and enhancing communication skills.
The program is open to all registered nurses — not just those employed by Kaiser Permanente — and scholarships are available.
The deadline to apply for the first semester is Nov. 1. Nurses interested in enrolling for the fall 2020 term must apply by July 1.

A Holistic Approach to Healthcare

Photo of nurse Denise Hippert
“I like the philosophy of the program, that healthcare is holistic. I just knew that this was something I had to do.” — KP Fresno registered nurse Denise Hippert
“When I first went to school to become a nurse, a BSN was ultimately what I wanted to complete,” said Denise Hippert, an RN working in the special care nursery at KP Fresno. “But then life happened, and I just didn’t do it.”
Afforded a renewed opportunity, she has enrolled in the new program.
“I like the philosophy of the program, that healthcare is holistic,” Hippert said. “I just knew that this was something I had to do.”

How to Apply

Samuel Merritt University offers RN to BSN programs at its campuses in the Bay Area and Sacramento. The university says that it is exploring additional nursing and health science degree programs in Fresno.
Candidates can apply at this link. To learn more, email Samuel Merritt University’s Fresno-based admissions counselor, John Tiedemann, at