Licensed nurses with an associate’s degree now have the option of receiving their bachelor’s degree at Del Mar College, an innovation at the institution.
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The new RN degree program for Bachelor of Science in Nursing will begin in the fall of 2021. Applications are now being made until April 30 and will accept up to 30 students in their first run.
Del Mar Council of Regents bachelor’s degree approved in February 2020.
The Southern College Association College and School Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Council approved the college offering the program’s diploma and curriculum.
The Nursing Education Department is currently in the process of accreditation for the new RN program for BSN.
During the conductors’ meeting in 2020, Lenora Keas, vice president for Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives, said demand for nurses in Nueces County will increase 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 job market in the area needs nurses with advanced training to help care for members of our community – particularly, caring for patients with chronic and often complicated conditions,” said McWha. “In addition, the BSN diploma is the preferred credential for many health care professional organizations and is usually the next step when pursuing other higher education degrees, such as a nurse, nursing educator or nursing researcher.”
The director of the nurse education department, Evangeline DeLeon, said the program will offer postgraduate educational preparation in areas of evidence-based practice, leadership in nursing, management and will also contribute to health care in the city.
Del Mar currently offers an associate degree in Applied Science in Nursing, a certificate in Professional Nursing Education, a LVN / Paramedic diploma for the RN Transition Associate in Applied Science, and a diploma in Arts in Nursing Education.
The proposed curriculum consists of 30 semester credit hours offered over three semesters with courses scheduled in eight-week segments for the first two regular semesters (autumn and spring) and 12 weeks for the third semester during the summer.
The curriculum is concept-based and the faculty will teach courses using a hybrid format, including online and clinical instruction.
The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi BSN program consists of 58 hours in five semesters. Costs at the university range from $ 38,000 to $ 58,000, with possible increases for travel.
Costs for Del Mar will range from $ 3,435 to $ 4,935.
Program applicants must have a valid RN state license and have completed 90 semester credit hours that include the required general education credit courses. Individuals must also have completed the RN associate level course in an accredited nursing program.
McWha said the program will help develop the marketable skills of graduates that employers look for in their fieldwork.
“Employers want nurses who demonstrate greater critical thinking and evidence-based research skills, training in leadership and management roles and more training in patient care management, along with the ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary health teams,” said McWha .
For more information about the program, visit delmar.edu/bsn.
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This article originally appeared in the Corpus Christi Caller Times: Del Mar College to offer bachelor’s degree to licensed nurses in the fall