Washington State Community and Technical Colleges and Four-Year Universities Join Forces to Advance Nursing Profession

In a move to boost the number of nurses with bachelor's degrees in Washington State, the community and technical college system and four-year universities have reached a landmark agreement to create a shorter, smoother process for students to achieve the degree. A new statewide Associate in Nursing transfer agreement standardizes the way credits are awarded and accepted between and among Washington's community and technical colleges and four-year universities.

Students who earn an associate degree in nursing from a participating community or technical college and pass the registered nurse license exam may enter Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs as seniors rather than as juniors, trimming up to a year off the path to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Associate transfer degrees typically place students at the junior level, but the agreement recognizes that community and technical college students already have a head start on their general education requirements because of the tough prerequisites needed for competitive admission into their own community or technical college nursing programs.

Community and technical colleges that plan to make use of the agreement are now working to ensure their programs align to the new transfer pathway.

Click on the attachments to read the whole announcement and an overview of the agreement.

by Olena Rypich | March 20, 2014

Tags: washington

Mary Ann Hill

Congratulations, Washington! In Massachusetts, the Board of Higher Education recently endorsed a Nursing Education Transfer Compact that makes it easier for nurses with associate degrees to transition to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. More info in the attached announcement.
Posted on: March 21, 2014, 2:50 pm

Christopher Weiss

The push for registered nurses to have a BSN degree is such a hot topic these days. I have always wondered why a bachelor's degree is not the minimum entry degree for the profession. Now that I am approaching my last semester of nursing school I believe even more that men and women in nursing should have at least a bachelor's degree due to the nature of the work. With that being said I believe there is something to be said for experience. A nurse with 10 years experience is invaluable and no amount of classroom time can compare to that. I think there should be some exceptions to this, perhaps a nurse with 10 or more years experience should not be made to go back to school to get their BSN degree but all others should need to achieve a BSN by the year 2020. Additionally, I wonder what will happen to all of the 2 year associate degree programs. I wonder if enrollment will be less or if less people will enter the nursing profession because of the BSN minimum requirement. This all makes for very interesting debate but I am glad that Washington State is helping nurses with associate degrees transition and I wish that all states had an agreement like this. Great post! Chris
Posted on: March 25, 2014, 6:58 pm

Carmel Larose

One of the nurse's role is as a patient educator and in order to teach patients health promoting behaviors, competent nurses need to be knowledgeable not only through experience gain in the field but also through vigorous learning in the classroom. A bachelor degree, is a stronger learning tool compared to an associate although the latter can get the job done but not as effectively. I think that it is a great idea that Washington State Community and Technical Colleges and Four-Year Universities Join Forces to Advance Nursing and people who already have an associate degree can be motivated in pursuing a higher education in a shorter time period (1year instead of 2). This type of program is accrediting experience in the field and took into consideration that a shorter period of time spent learning the necessary materials may encourage further education especially for people who have to juggle their busy lives. I am enrolled in a second degree accelerated BSN program and although the work is intense, the shorter time period I am spending in learning was a determining factor in my enrolling decision (I was running out of time), but a higher education in the nursing field I would have to say was my main incentive. The more educated an individual is in a field of interest, the more adept he/she becomes. We need more adept nurses, in order to enhance nursing as a profession.
Posted on: April 8, 2014, 9:57 am


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