BCC to offer advanced nursing training on campus

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By Brant McMullan, Fishing Correspondent; Brad Bowman; Brian Slattery; Staff Brunswick Beacon; Brent Schanding, Reporter; Dorrie Brennan, Reporter and McCue Dan

Brunswick Community College was the site on Dec. 4 for the signing of an agreement that will result in advanced nursing training on the college campus.

With the bridge articulation agreement in place, UNC Pembroke will offer its bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program at the college.

BCC President Susanne Adams welcomed the UNCP contingent to campus.

“Working with our university partner to serve this rural region has been a labor of love for us,” she said. ”Our nurses are eager to continue their education.”

With a total enrollment of about 1,600, BCC has nearly 50 students enrolled in its two-year associate degree program, according to Paula Sullivan, BCC’s director of nursing.

“Our entire graduating class of registered nurses is planning to take the general education courses that will allow them to be admitted to the BSN program,” Sullivan said. “This is a great opportunity for them.”

As part of a national initiative to upgrade nursing education, UNCP established an RN-to-BSN program in 1994. For UNCP students at BCC, the nursing faculty will employ distance education technology to teach online and via interactive video classrooms.

Dr. Cherry Beasley, the nursing faculty member who will coordinate the program for UNCP, said she expects to enroll the first students as soon as the fall semester of 2013.

“We’ve got a good plan in place administratively to enroll and support the needs of students at Brunswick Community College,” she said.

Dr. Kenneth Kitts, UNCP’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, signed agreements on behalf of the university.

“I would like to thank President Adams and her administrative team for their excellent work on this agreement,” Kitts said. “This agreement opens the door for UNC Pembroke to have a real impact on the nursing workforce in Brunswick County. We have outstanding nursing programs to support this initiative, and I am looking forward to a productive relationship.”

Dr. Sharon Thompson, BCC’s vice president for academic and student affairs, noted the community college’s nursing program has had a 100 percent passing rate in three of the last four years on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

She said the nursing agreement adds to a growing relationship with UNCP.

“We have multiple relationships with UNCP that will benefit our students and this community,” Thompson said. “We’ve worked hard to make sure our current and former students know about the BSN program. It’s convenient for them and a great opportunity to build their professional careers.”

The agreement provides for transferring up to 62 credit hours, including general education and pre-requisite courses. In addition, 30 nursing credits earned in BCC’s associate degree program will be transferred after completion of two UNCP validation nursing courses.

Students will be required to complete at least 32 hours from UNCP. Academic administrators at both institutions have signed off on the agreement that meets the requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

 For additional information regarding nursing programs at Brunswick Community College, call 755-7300 or email admissions@brunswickcc.edu.