Nursing students choosing to continue their studies beyond the associate degree level now have an improved pathway at Bellevue College (BC) that ensures their credits transfer easily to Washington state four-year nursing schools.
The Associate Degree in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Ready Pathway (DTA/MRP) creates a smoother path for students who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Bellevue College students will enroll in the Associate in Nursing DTA program starting this fall.
“We’ve worked really hard over the past year revising our curriculum so we could meet the requirements of this new designation,” said Dr. Suzanne Beltz, associate dean of nursing at Bellevue College. “Students know that most hospitals expect nurses to earn their BSN within five years of hire. This new path prepares students to transfer to a program of their choice, here at BC, or at a Washington state university.”
Data from an Institute of Medicine 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommended increasing the percentage of registered nurses with a BSN or higher at least 80 percent by 2020. And a 2014 article published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Building the Case for More Highly Educated Nurses, stated “Hospitals that employ larger numbers of BSN-prepared nurses have lower patient mortality rates…A 10 percent increase in the proportion of nurses with BSNs was associated with a 7 percent decrease in patient death…”
“Nurses with a higher level of education is a win for patients, and the healthcare industry as a whole,” said Dr. Lela Holden, nursing faculty at Bellevue College. “These nurses focus on identifying problems before they become serious complications which improves patient care, and decreases unnecessary costs.”
A coalition of state agencies led the initiative to streamline the credit transfer process including the Washington State Council of Presidents, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Independent Colleges of Washington and Washington Student Achievement Council, and Washington Center for Nursing.
“The BSN is a great option for students who are interested in taking on a leadership role in healthcare, or are already employed as an RN and would like to advance into management” said Lisa Tedeschi, senior professor of nursing at Bellevue College. “We have nurses who are working and taking classes at the same time.”
Students in Bellevue College’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program will still be able to apply for their Registered Nurse (RN) licensure after graduation.
“The important thing is that our nursing students have choices to continue a nursing education rather than barriers,” said Beltz.
For more information about the Nursing DTA/MRP, visit https://www.wcnursing.org/wnac-apin/DTA/