Awarding of College Credit in RN to BSN Programs Using a Competency-Based Portfolio Approach to Assess Prior Learning
To support a seamless transition for the RN returning to obtain a BSN and ensure consistent application of the Nebraska Nursing Deans and Directors (NANDD) and Nebraska Action Coalition (NAC) guidelines and rubrics when awarding college credit for prior learning to RNs in a BSN completion program.
RNs in an RN to BSN completion program, with two years of practice experience as an RN, will need to provide the evidence required in the portfolio template (rubric) that addresses the related behaviors for each competency:
- Community and Population Focused Healthcare
- Leadership and Management
- Research and Evidence-Based Practice/Spirit of Inquiry
The competency-based approach to assess prior learning is available to the public and published by participating Nebraska Schools of Nursing.
All schools need to be in compliance with their accrediting body and may need to include a statement for the portfolio process in their College materials. An example is:
In accord with the Higher Learning Commission’s Assessment of Prior Learning Principles, credit is offered for the demonstration of learning, not the identification of learning experiences. The validation is an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of current college-level work (not outdated information) and the application of that knowledge to lived experiences.
- RN to BSN students are informed of the process for a competency based portfolio approach to assess prior learning. (Individual schools determine the published method and review/discussion with potential and incoming RNs).
- The portfolio rubrics will be the guideline for the portfolio process to assess artifact evidence for each of the three content areas: Community and Population Focused Healthcare; Leadership and Management; and Research and Evidence-Based Practice/Spirit of Inquiry.
- RNs must have a minimum of two years of practice experience as an RN to qualify for prior learning assessment for college credit.
- To qualify for the Community and Population Focused Healthcare prior learning assessment, a minimum of a single year or combined year in a community setting with a population group, is required as part of the two years of experience requirement.
- To qualify for the Leadership and Management prior learning assessment, a minimum of a single year of experience in a leadership position such as preceptor, nurse manager/team leader or active member on a strategic planning committee is required to meet this requirement.
- RN Students will meet with program faculty to discuss experiences and determine quality of potential artifacts that may be submitted for portfolio assessment in one or more of the following course content areas: Community and Population Focused Healthcare; Leadership and Management; and Research and Evidence-Based Practice/Spirit of Inquiry.
- RN Students make a written request for a portfolio assessment to (whomever in the School of Nursing) of the selected course content area.
- Upon approval from (whomever in the School of Nursing) students submit artifact evidence requested in the rubric for the BSN competency behaviors.
- The portfolio guidelines and rubrics will be the criteria for assessing artifacts submitted to meet BSN competency behaviors.
- Evaluation of artifact evidence will be conducted by a Director, Dean or course faculty member in the RN to BSN program with expertise in the competency content area.
- The overall grade for the portfolio is pass/fail and determined by the completeness of the content in the rubric for each area: Community and Population Focused Healthcare; Leadership and Management; and Research and Evidence-Based Practice/Spirit of Inquiry.
- The cost for portfolios and course credit is determined by the individual institution.
- Final evaluation of the portfolio artifacts will be communicated to the RN Student and appropriate persons at (name of college/university) as appropriate to each school: Dean, Director, Course faculty, College Registrar, etc.
- Written notification of the evidence submitted and credit awarded is communicated to the Registrar with subsequent college credit applied to the nursing program and appears on the college transcript.
DiSalvio, P. (2014). New directions for higher education: Q&A with CAEL’s Tate on prior learning, competency-based Ed. New England Journal Of Higher Education, 1.
Donley, R., & Flaherty, M. J. (2008). Promoting professional development: Three phases of articulation in nursing education and practice. Online Journal Of Issues In Nursing, 13(3), 11e