RN to BSN degree proposal

State board approves WVC RN-BSN degree proposal

Media Contact: Jenny Capelo, nursing administrator and dean of allied health, 509.682.6662, or Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has approved Wenatchee Valley College'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 nursing degree. The associate nursing degree includes one year of prerequisites and two years of required courses.

Additional steps must be completed for the new degree to go into effect, such as approval through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and from the Washington State Nursing Commission.

If the college receives timely approvals, the program could be offered fall-quarter 2014.

WVC was selected by the Washington Center for Nursing as one of three schools in Washington state to add an RNB program, with the goal of creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce.

In order to ease the transition from an associate's degree to a BSN program, the college has begun transitioning from the current associate's degree in nursing to an associate in applied science-transfer (AAS-T) degree for nursing students.

The AAS-T degree includes technical courses to help prepare students for employment, but also includes college-level general education courses that prepare students for their junior year in a bachelor's degree. Students who earn an AAS-T will qualify to apply for the RNB program, though the AAS-T degree does not guarantee acceptance into the RNB program.

Jenny Capelo, WVC Dean of Allied Health, explained that there is a statewide movement to switch to transfer degrees in nursing. Many health-care centers in the state's metropolitan areas are already requiring that job applicants have a BSN degree, which will become predominant for entry-level work, especially in acute care, she said.

# # #

Wenatchee Valley College enriches North Central Washington by serving educational and cultural needs of communities and residents throughout the service area. The college provides high-quality transfer, liberal arts, professional/technical, basic skills and continuing education for students of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Visit our website, www.wvc.edu.