The following is a news release from Wenatchee Valley College:
The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission has granted Wenatchee Valley College initial approval for a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (RN-to-BSN) program, which is the first of two four-year degrees that WVC will offer. The college plans to admit the first class of students into the program in the fall of 2017 pending final approval.
WVC Nursing Programs Administrator Dr. Kristen Hosey and Allied Health Dean Jenny Capelo received word of the decision in early May that would allow WVC to begin recruitment efforts on a program that has been underway for about six years. “This process has been long, but it was all about ensuring quality education for nurses who wish to advance their career and knowledge base,” stated Hosey, who was hired in 2016 to facilitate the launch of the RN-to-BSN program.
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) has already approved WVC’s proposal to add an RN-to-BSN degree to its nursing degree options. The RN-to-BSN, or RNB degree, would add a fourth year of courses for those students who have already graduated with their associate degree in nursing (ADN). The ADN includes one year of prerequisites and two years of required nursing courses. The goal is to provide opportunities for area nurses to finish their last year of education and get the bachelor’s degree that is becoming an industry standard. The industry aims for 80 percent of the nursing work force to have a bachelor’s degree or higher by 2020. WVC hopes to increase access to education by serving students who may not gravitate toward a university, such as those who are bound by place, time and work. In the North Central Washington region, only 26 percent of nurses are bachelor’s prepared, which is the lowest percentage in the state by region.
WVC will accept 25 students into the RN-to-BSN program each year, said Hosey. The program will be 80 percent online and 20 percent face-to-face instruction. Students will attend classes on the Wenatchee campus only three times a quarter so that they can continue to work while completing their bachelor’s degree. To be accepted, students will need to have an ADN as well as a current, unencumbered RN license. The program will take one year, or four quarters, to complete full time.
WVC currently offers an ADN on both the Wenatchee and Omak campus. Expanding the nursing program to offer an option for nurses in the region to obtain a BSN is an essential step towards increasing the likelihood that graduate nurses (researchers, nurse practitioners and nurse educators, for example) can and will stay in the area. The RN-to-BSN will improve access to quality education right here in North Central Washington. For additional information about the RN-to-BSN program, call 509-682-6662.