Fresno State nursing students to receive degrees

Monday, May 21, 2012

About two dozen Fresno State nursing students are relieved today after the university made a decision that those students say will give them a career boost.

On Monday morning university officials held a closed door meeting with a group of students to discuss their future in the nursing program. In that meeting they addressed information given by a faculty member who told students they would receive two degrees in a program designed to only award them one.

Bernadette Sankey and about two dozen of her fellow nursing students are elated with Fresno State's decision to award their class a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN before their Master's degree.

On Monday university officials met with students including Sankey. At issue - a faculty member's misinformation.

The program, the Entry Level Master's Degree Program, administrators say, is designed for students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree. On graduation day students will pick up a Master's Degree in Nursing but not a BSN.

Sankey says when she signed up for the program she was told she would obtain both. After an investigation officials found out a faculty member was responsible for providing students with the wrong information. Dennis Nef, Dean of Undergraduate Studies said, "It appears they had been told either in an email or in personal interviews that they could earn a bachelors or a science degree as part of their master's program but that's not how the program was established or set up."

During Monday's meeting staff members told students they would award them with both degrees to correct the error.

Students are thrilled with the decision. They say getting two nursing degrees makes them more competitive in the job market. This is the only class that will be grandfathered under that policy. Future students will only receive a master's degree.

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