North Carolina embraces nursing’s transformation, an imperative for the state’s health. The goal of improving health outcomes through a higher educated nursing workforce leads the transformation work.
North Carolina Foundation for Nursing Excellence is increasing the number of baccalaureate educated nurses practicing in the state by expanding partnerships between community colleges and universities to implement a four-year dual admission while developing a seamless BSN curriculum through the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) project. APIN is helping to expand and sustain the RIBN model of dual enrollment and seamless progression four-year nursing education track between community colleges and universities. This option offers an economically feasible option for more students to achieve a BSN degree at the beginning of their nursing career, thereby expanding the pool of BSN-prepared nurses and the pipeline for future faculty and advanced practice nurses is in process. Project. Additionally, North Carolina is continuing to develop a uniform, statewide academic progression agreement between the public university and community college systems to promote educational advancement opportunities for RNs to complete BSN or higher degrees, while also promoting the diversification of the future workforce through RIBN expansion to create a workforce more representative of the communities being served.
Project expansion continues with momentum surpassing all expectations. The project now includes eight regional partnerships anchored by eight universities that are aligned with 26 private and community college associate degree nursing programs. With the inaugural cohort on target to complete year 4 and their BSN spring 2014, total enrollment is approaching 200 students and diversity enrollments are trending toward regional demographics. Seamless transition to practice plan development is a current focus as the second cohort in year 3 is on target to graduate, become licensed as a registered nurse and move into the final year of the RIBN pathway Spring 2014. Aligning their transition to employment clinical experience with a supportive clinical practice site in final semester of year 3 will facilitate a successful transition during the most vulnerable period of their RIBN journey.