Gov.Bob McDonnell oversaw the ceremonial signing of an agreement today between George Washington University’s President Steven Knapp and Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) to provide guaranteed admission to students enrolled in accredited nursing programs across the state who meet established academic requirements.
The memorandum of understanding will allow students in any of Virginia's community colleges to transfer their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (ADN) credits to George Washington’s School of Nursing and pursue a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree with credits that are applicable to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
The agreement helps to realize McDonnell’s recently adopted “Top Jobs” legislation which has a goal of 100,000 more degrees being awarded in STEM concentrations over the next 15 years. There are 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of which the majority offer accredited nursing programs to its students.
For students with a bachelor’s degree in another field and an associate degree in nursing with work experience as a licensed registered nurse, the guaranteed admissions program will allow them to transfer into the master’s program after taking a bridge course.
In spring 2012, the George Washington University School of Nursing and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College signed an agreement for nurses in rural Virginia to expand their education. That program, a pilot to the recent, statewide agreement, was targeted toward nurses prepared at the associate degree level seeking to get either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.
Some of the benefits of the primarily online program are that participants have access to mentorship opportunities with nursing faculty members and students can stay in their home communities while advancing their education. The program will help address healthcare workforce shortages; a challenge made more pronounced in rural and medically underserved areas. The structure of the guaranteed admissions program allows for those healthcare workers to continue providing services to their communities while working toward their own career advancement.
To participate in the program, students must meet the following eligibility requirements: completed an associate degree from a community college in the VCCS that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; graduated with a 3.0 grade point average in nursing and overall; completed any additional prerequisite coursework; is currently a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) and has proof of employment in a field requiring nursing knowledge or experience.
Students enrolled part-time can go from an ADN to BSN in four semesters and can earn an MSN in approximately three years.
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