Radford University (RU) President Penelope W. Kyle recently signed a Guaranteed Admissions Agreement for Nursing with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
The agreement will provide an efficient pathway for VCCS's Applied Science in Nursing (AAS) graduates to achieve a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from RU.
"We are pleased to partner with VCCS to provide this educational opportunity for its students and the Commonwealth's future nurses," said President Kyle. "Together, we can develop a highly-educated nursing workforce to meet Virginia's focus on serving and providing the highest quality healthcare to our communities."
"As a former faculty member at one of Virginia's community colleges, Thomas Nelson Community College, I appreciate firsthand the critical role that our Commonwealth's 23 community colleges serve in educating Virginia's students. I am especially pleased when RU and VCCS can further strengthen and enhance our already strong collaboration," added President Kyle.
The agreement is an additional RU response to healthcare industry recommendations like those of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which advocates that registered nurses (RNs) across the nation complete their bachelor's degree within 10 years of completing their associate's degree in nursing and licensure. The IOM's Future of Nursing report, released in 2010, also encourages 80 percent of nurses to become baccalaureate-prepared by 2020.
Radford University's RN to BSN program provides flexible online learning opportunities for students, including those who are graduates of community colleges and are licensed RN's. Its curriculum accommodates RN's who are employed or involved with family, community and other responsibilities. RU's current RN-to-BSN program enrolled over 30 students in 2013 and the program aspires to double that enrollment in three years. Under the new agreement, the program will begin admitting the first VCCS students for the Fall 2014 semester.
"RU's partnership with the VCCS will expand and enrich the educational opportunities for Virginia's community college nursing graduates, the nurses of the future, with a sound philosophical, professional, educational and clinical groundwork," said Dr. Ken Cox, dean of RU's Waldron College of Health and Human Services.
Upon completion of an AAS degree, VCCS students of one of the state's 23 community colleges will be granted admission into the RU RN-to-BSN program. Accepted students will then be required to complete requisite transition courses while completing their BSN degree. Once accepted to the program, students will complete 26 credits and may be awarded 56 credits for prior learning and work experience. Up to 51 transfer credits are awarded towards the core curriculum requirements for a B.S.N, thus completing a total of 133 semester hours at the baccalaureate level. RN-to-BSN Track students are admitted each fall, and part-time enrollment is possible.
The VCCS includes 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth, serving more than 400,000 students each year.