The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), part of The University of Alabama System, announced a partnership between the UAH College of Nursing (UAH CON) and Calhoun Community College (CCC) Nursing to offer a Dual Nursing Program which will begin admitting students for spring 2021.
The UAH CON/CCC Dual Nursing Degree Program provides students the opportunity to obtain both an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) simultaneously in five semesters of full-time study. Through this program of study, students admitted to the Dual Nursing Program will graduate with an ADN from Calhoun Community College and a BSN from the UAH CON. The ADN will be offered on the Calhoun Campus, while the BSN Coursework is offered completely online through the UAH College of Nursing.
“This collaboration will help move the nursing profession forward by working to meet one of the Future of Nursing recommendations, to promote seamless academic progression so that nurses can achieve higher levels of education, including knowledge, abilities and skills,” says Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, Dean and Professor of the UAH College of Nursing.
Through a virtual ceremony, administrators from both institutions signed a formal agreement allowing students to attend UAH and Calhoun simultaneously. Included in the signed documents was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as well as the course pathway schedule that is required to complete the program.
“The established pathway is extremely important, as it will make the course selection process easier for students to remain on track and complete the program,” says Dr. Lynn Hogan, Calhoun Nursing Department Chair.
The year 2020 has been dubbed the Year of the Nurse by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report entitled The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health which addressed the following recommendation: to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses to 80% of the workforce by 2020. Many healthcare organizations require a BSN as minimal preparation to practice nursing.
The Dual Nursing Degree Program offers a number of additional advantages to students. A BSN degree is necessary to continue to graduate school for advanced practice degrees, such as nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse administrator and nurse researcher. The program also will provide students interested in nursing an advantage over their peers from other programs as they enter the job market.
“I’d like to thank Dr. Burke and our counterparts at Calhoun Community College for their role in helping us to forge this important alliance,” says UAH President Dr. Darren Dawson. “This new partnership highlights the innovative ways our two institutions are working together to provide our students with a wonderful pathway to the finest nursing education we can offer. The dual program will ensure that we continue to supply our regional healthcare providers and organizations with the most qualified nurses as well.”
“I am most appreciative of the long and very successful partnership Calhoun and UAH has established over the years and the many academic options we are able to provide our students,” says Calhoun Interim President Dr. Joe Burke. “With the signing of this brand-new program, we are not only helping our students to achieve their academic goals more quickly, but we are providing our communities with well-trained and educated healthcare professionals.”
According to the MOU, students that plan to enter the program must be highly motivated and are held to the highest standards. In total, the program consists of nine semesters and is split between the two institutions. Students will complete their general education courses at Calhoun, which consists of four semesters, and will complete their last five semesters, focused on nursing, at UAH.
“The unique thing about this program is that we use one curriculum,” Dr. Hogan explains. “The faculty at Calhoun and UAH are working very closely to ensure the learning process is seamless, and that students won’t have any issues when they transition to UAH to complete their final semesters.”
Students interested in the new degree program will pay tuition and fees according to the rates in place at UAH and Calhoun. Financial aid is also available at both institutions to those who qualify.
To learn more about the program, please visit https://www.uah.edu/nursing/degree-programs/adn-bsn-dual-nursing or www.calhoun.edu/dualnursing. For additional questions, please contact Laura Mann at 256-824-6742.
(Courtesy of UAH)