UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady and Dr. Algie Gatewood, president of Alamance Community College, put pens to paper Thursday, cementing an agreement that will bring UNCG’s bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to the community college’s Graham campus.
For associate degree nursing graduates and RNs in the area, the new partnership means a convenient path to employment and career advancement. For health care providers, it means an increasingly qualified workforce of nurses. For patients, the bottom line is better care.
Outreach programs like this one are crucial for nurses, says Dr. Robin Remsburg, dean of UNCG’s School of Nursing. “Having the BSN really facilitates their mobility within the health care system. The BSN is looked on as a gateway to graduate education for nurses.”
The Alamance program, which starts in Spring 2015, will primarily serve the community college’s recent associate degree nursing graduates beginning with an initial cohort of 25-50 students. Other RNs in the area may join the cohort as availability permits. A hybrid of in-person and online classes will be taught by UNCG nursing faculty, with in-person classes located in Graham.
Health care providers increasingly prefer or require nurses to have the BSN as research shows having BSN-credentialed nurses at the bedside improves patient outcomes, Remsburg says. The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report on The Future of Nursing, recommends that at least 80 percent of bedside nurses have the BSN degree by 2020.
Hospitals qualify for Magnet status, granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, partly based on numbers of BSN-degreed nurses. To obtain or renew Magnet status, hospitals must now show that 100 percent of nurse managers have BSN or graduate degrees in nursing.
About two-thirds of all new nurses come out of associate degree programs, Remsburg says, so there is an ongoing demand for RN-to-BSN programs. Many hospitals require nurses to obtain the BSN within five years, and the School of Nursing is already working with Cone Health System to offer BSN courses to a initial cohort of 24 working nurses onsite.
“The collaboration with Alamance Community College is an important component of the School of Nursing’s plan to meet the changing needs of nurses and employers,” says Dr. Anita Tesh, associate dean for undergraduate study in the school. “Similar programs are being launched at Davidson County Community College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and other sites are under consideration.”
The BSN cohorts at Davidson and Rowan-Cabarrus start in Fall 2014. Those two programs are supported by a $100,000 grant from Northwest AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Tesh says. “We are targeting new associate degree graduates, to support the Institute of Medicine report’s call for a ‘seamless transition’ from ADN to BSN.”
Photo caption: Dr. Algie Gatewood, president of Alamance Community College, and UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady sign off on an agreement to offer UNCG’s bachelor’s degree in nursing at the community College’s Graham campus. The new partnership is just one part of UNCG’s plans to meet the changing needs of nurses and health care employers head-on.
reposted from UNCG News and Features