Agreement between local universities creates nursing degree pathway

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IECN photo CSUSB: A Memorandum of Understanding was signed that would allow students to earn an associate degree in Nursing at Riverside Community College while concurrently earning a bachelor of science degree at either California State University, Fontana, or Cal State San Bernardino.
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Riverside City College (RCC), California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) creating a pathway for students to earn an associate degree in Nursing at RCC while concurrently earning a bachelor of science degree in Nursing (BSN) with either CSUF or CSUSB. All classes will occur online or on the RCC campus. 

The concurrent enrollment ADN-to-BSN program will launch in fall 2019.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks California highest in need of skilled registered nurses. RCC, CSUF and CSUSB are confident that this pathway will offset the nursing shortage, especially in the counties of Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino. The ADN-to-BSN program removes unnecessary barriers of access, time and costs for nursing students.

RCC’s School of Nursing offers an associate degree in Nursing/Registered Nursing as well as programs in Nursing Assistant and Vocational Nursing. CSUSB offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing while CSUF offers a School Nurse Services Credential (SNSC) and a Post SNSC Master of Science in Nursing.

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“Riverside City College is committed to solving critical workforce needs, including providing qualified nursing professionals,” Gregory Anderson, RCC president, said.  “That’s why we are proud to partner with CSUSB and CSUF to create this smooth pathway that leads directly to the BSN and good jobs.”

The idea is to create a workforce of ready graduates, thereby increasing the number of nursing professionals in the tri-county area. The program will provide students a direct, concurrent and streamlined pathway between RCC and either CSUF or CSUSB.

Students will take classes in prerequisite and general education at RCC, leading to concurrent enrollment into both the RCC and one of the CSU nursing programs. After graduating from RCC, they will complete their final semester of studies at either CSUF or CSUSB, resulting in a bachelor degree in Nursing. The MOU establishes procedures for program governance, admission procedures and operation of student financial aid as well as sharing of classroom and resources, such as simulation labs and libraries. 

California State Senator Richard Roth, D-Riverside, has been an early advocate for an ADN-to-BSN program. The senator actively engaged his staff and educational leadership in the development of this model program in order to meet the healthcare needs of the region.           

“Inland Southern California is experiencing a surge in its economy and population as the region veers into a public health crisis,” Roth said. “We need to ensure we have the health care infrastructure in place to meet the looming needs. This innovative pilot program addresses that need by driving more bachelor’s degree nurses into medically underserved regions like Inland Southern California, delivering health care where it is needed most.”

The Nursing program at RCC was established in 1957 and received its first California Board of Registered Nursing approval in 1958. The program received its National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accreditation in 1981. In recent years, the program has been nationally recognized as the second largest ADN program in the state, with more than 400 full-time nursing students and a 95 percent completion rate and 94 percent pass rate on the national licensing exam. 

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