Licensed registered nurses with an associate’s degree now have the option to receive their bachelor’s degree at Del Mar College, a first for the institution.
The new RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program will start in fall 2021. Applications are being taken now through Apr. 30 and will accept up to 30 students for its first run.
Del Mar’s Board of Regents approved of the baccalaureate degree in February 2020.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board each approved of the college offering the degree and its program curriculum.
The Nurse Education Department is currently undergoing the accreditation process for the new RN to BSN program.
During the Regents meeting in 2020, Lenora Keas, vice president of Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives, said the demand for nurses in Nueces County will increase by 21% by 2029.
Nurse Education program director Jennifer McWha said there are currently nine RN to BSN programs offered at community colleges in Texas, with others pending approval.
“Currently, the area’s job market needs nurses with advanced training to help care for members of our community–particularly, care for patients with chronic and often complicated conditions,” McWha said.” Additionally, the BSN degree is the preferred credential for many health care organizations and is typically the next step when pursuing other higher level degrees such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator or nurse researcher.”
Nurse Education department chair Evangeline DeLeon said the program will offer graduate educational preparedness in areas of evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, management and further contribute to health care in the city.
Del Mar currently offers an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Registered Nursing, a Vocational Nurse Education certificate, a degree in LVN/Paramedic to RN Transition Associate in Applied Science and a degree in Arts in Nurse Education.
The proposed curriculum is comprised of 30 semester credit hours offered over three semesters with courses scheduled in eight-week segments for the first two regular semesters (fall and spring) and 12 weeks for the third semester during the summer.
The curriculum is concept-based and faculty will teach courses using a hybrid format including online and clinical instruction.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s BSN program consists of 58 hours over five semesters. Costs at the university range from $38,000 to $58,000, with possible additions in the case of travel.
Applicants for the program must hold a valid RN state license and have completed 90 semester credit hours that include required general education credit courses. Individuals must also have completed associate’s degree level RN coursework from an accredited nursing program.
McWha said the program will help build graduates’ marketable skills that employers seek in their fieldwork.
“Employers want nurses who demonstrate increased critical thinking and evidence-based research skills, training in leadership and management roles and increased training in patient care management, along with the ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary health care teams,” McWha said.
For more information of the program, visit delmar.edu/bsn.
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