(Podcast) Discussing Research and BSN FlexPath with Dean Patrick Robinson

October 9, 2015

I have an interesting podcast today with Capella Nursing and Health Sciences Dean, Patrick Robinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

Patrick Robinson, Ph.D.

Patrick Robinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Patrick grew up in a military family; his father was a physician and his mother was a nurse. He shares his story of how he became a nurse, his research in HIV/AIDs treatment and later his findings in Exercise Physiology. We discussed the progression of Patrick’s career, becoming President of the National Association of Nurses in AIDS care, and why he decided to come to Capella as the dean of our Nursing and Health Sciences school. He discusses what he’s learned about leadership and the importance of being involved in professional organizations as an ethical and professional obligation. We also talk about the changing roles of nurses in health care and how Capella is responding to that change and listening to what employers need.

Dean Patrick Robinson (in red) with faculty at August commencement

We also received exciting news during the podcast (talk about great timing) that Capella’s RN-to-BSN program in FlexPath was approved by the Higher Learning Commission. Patrick goes into detail about what that direct-assessment program looks like, what kind of assessments are used, and why it is such a monumental educational model in nurse education. He believes it is the educational model that nurses have been asking for for decades.  Patrick also shares his advice on the importance of finding a good mentor, what a good mentor looks like, and suggestions for what nurses should consider before going back to school.

It was a really fun conversation that covered a lot of ground; I hope you enjoy it!


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Capella is a Finalist for the 2015 Tekne Award

October 5, 2015

In honor of Capella’s strides in competency-based, direct-assessment learning, Capella has been named a finalist for the 2015 Tekne Award in Education Technology for our FlexPath program. The Tekne awards, from the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), honors innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry. The Education Technology award recognizes innovations that improve student learning and academic performance.


Capella is one of three finalists for the Tekne Award in Education Technology. The 16th Annual Tekne Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, honor those who play a significant role in developing new technologies that impact the way people work and live in Minnesota and all over the world. The program reinforces MHTA’s commitment to promoting an active science and technology sector within the state of Minnesota.

FlexPath was one of the first competency-based, direct-assessment programs to be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and receive Title IV funding. The program is revolutionary, for adult learners in particular, as it is self-paced and allows learners to quickly move through subjects they already understand to potentially save both time and money. The competencies in each program have on-the-job relevancy as they are professionally-aligned and demonstrated through authentic, real-world assessments.

Congratulations to our FlexPath team for their hard work on this innovative program!  It is great to see them recognized for their outstanding work by being named a Tekne finalist. In addition, and perhaps even more rewarding, is the real-life impact FlexPath is having on our learners. It’s clear that it is making a huge difference in the way the people live and work by offering motivated adults an alternative pathway to earning their degree.

In case you missed it, we recently launched a FlexPath option for our RN-to-BSN program. You can see the program details here.

Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences Patrick Robinson recently wrote a guest blog post about the offering as well.

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New FlexPath Option: RN-to-BSN

October 2, 2015

Today we have a guest blog post from Capella University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean, F. Patrick Robinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. 


Dean Patrick Robinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

I’m excited to announce that the Higher Learning Commission has approved a new FlexPath option for our RN-to-BSN program. This degree pathway provides experienced registered nurses the most direct path to a BSN, thus allowing them to meet their educational and career goals in a highly efficient and affordable manner.

Capella continues to provide exceptional quality in its nursing programs, and now nurses have the option to enroll in a program that provides even more flexibility for working adults.

BSN FlexPath

The potential impact of this new FlexPath program benefits a much larger audience than just nurses. There is substantial research evidence which suggests that in hospitals with higher percentages of RNs with BSN degrees, patients are less likely to die or develop preventable complications of their illness or surgery. The evidence led the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend that a minimum of 80 percent of RNs should have at least a BSN by 2020. The challenge is that only about half of the more than three million RNs in the country have earned a BSN. Cost and lack of flexibility have always been formidable barriers to educational mobility in the nursing work force.

Many experienced RNs without BSNs have achieved competency in a number of advanced areas through their practice experience and commitment to professional development. It is a struggle to return to school and spend time on learning content related to competencies that are performed on a regular basis as part of their professional role. The RN-to-BSN FlexPath option lowers or eliminates these barriers and helps progress the vision charted 50 years ago when members of the American Nurses Associations (ANA) voted that the BSN be the entry-into-practice degree for registered nursing.

We are thrilled to continue to provide outstanding quality educational offerings to nurses and we look forward to seeing how this changes the healthcare landscape. Courses are scheduled to begin in January 2016!

Learn more about the program here.

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Capella is proud to support nurses

September 18, 2015


We all know of a nurse (or several of them!) that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help his or her patients every day. Great nurses offer not only outstanding care; they impact positive change in many avenues of healthcare. As the industry continues to undergo changes and reform, the importance of nurses and the role of nurse leaders are growing rapidly.

Not only do nurses work on the front lines of health care, nurse leaders are changing the healthcare landscape. Nurse leaders are using creativity, strategic focus and a patient-centered approach to innovate and discover solutions to some of the industry’s most pressing issues. Check out some of our blog posts about what it means to be a nurse and the growing opportunities for nurse leaders.


We are proud of all our nursing learners at Capella. We have nurses who are working toward their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and they are competent, compassionate, and driven. Recently, I had a conversation with one such nurse, Sarah Hall-Shavoy, who is a current DNP learner. She received a full scholarship to pursue her doctorate and is currently the Magnet Program Director at Emory St. Joseph’s. Listen to our conversation here.

Capella University supports our learners by providing exceptional degree programs and exceptional support! Check out some podcasts with our support team. I had a fun conversation with Jenny, an academic coach on our nursing team and one with Sarah, a lead enrollment team member. Another great conversation is one that I had with Dr. Christy Davidson, Capella’s nursing faculty chair. We discussed Dr. Davidson’s own nursing journey, changes in the healthcare industry, and Capella’s DNP program. You can listen here.

I am proud of our nurses and grateful that there are so many talented and compassionate individuals in the field. We are excited to see over 8,000 of them at the ANCC Magnet Conference in October. To all of our nurses: we support you and we appreciate all that you do!


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(PODCAST) Scott Kinney sits down with Capella alum Dr. Diana Greene

September 11, 2015

We have a special podcast today. Guest host and Capella President Scott Kinney, had the opportunity to speak with impressive Capella alum, Dr. Diana Greene.

Dr. Greene

Dr. Greene

Dr. Greene, a graduate from our PhD in Education program, was recently sworn in as the Interim Superintendent of Manatee County Schools in Florida. She oversees a large, diverse district that has many students who are English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and over 60% of students that are on free and reduced lunch.

Dr. Greene and Scott have a conversation about the major issues facing K-12 education, sustainable intervention strategies and early childhood education. Dr. Greene discusses the role her dissertation research has played in shaping programs in her district and she offers some advice to Capella faculty in the School of Education.

I hope you find the podcast as interesting as I did!


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