Accelerated path to bachelor’s degree
Published 11:49 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019
The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Nursing has partnered with Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College (RCC) to offer accelerated coursework to registered nurses who are students at both community colleges, providing them a faster path to obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Students will be enrolled concurrently at VCU and their respective community colleges.
“We’re looking forward to offering SVCC and RCC nursing students a more efficient path to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, which subsequently will help to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared RNs in Virginia’s health care workforce,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Nursing.
The partnerships are in line with a national push to enhance academic progression for nurses. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report, which recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be educated at a baccalaureate degree in nursing or higher by 2020. Reduction in medication errors, lower mortality rates and positive patient outcomes are linked to nurses being educated at baccalaureate and higher degree levels, according to a recent position statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Enrollment will open on May 1 to nursing students at both community colleges and classes will start in fall 2019.
Both VCU and SVCC aim to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses who might seek employment at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, and other health care facilities in Southside Virginia, said Michelle Edmonds, DNP, dean of nursing, allied health and natural sciences at SVCC.