A San Diego City College nursing student

City College nursing partnership

August 1, 2015 | Jack Beresford

Nursing students who graduate from San Diego City College will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) within 15 months without leaving the downtown campus under a new agreement between the institutions that took effect August 1.

The governing board of the San Diego Community  College District (SDCCD) approved the agreement at its May 14 meeting. The partnership allows cohorts of up to 15 nursing students who graduate from City College to enroll seamlessly in the PLNU nursing program each fall  and spring. Students will pay $16,200, which includes fees, tuition and books, for the major courses in the  accelerated degree program that will yield a Bachelor of  Science in Nursing (BSN) degree upon completing 12 courses totaling 36 units. That’s less than the cost of completing their bachelor’s degree at a California State University campus.

The agreement between San Diego City College and Point Loma Nazarene University fits a unique niche,” said City College President Anthony Beebe. “It accepts City College’s Associate Degree Nurses and establishes an accelerated pathway to the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.  The great part about the program is that PLNU provides City College nursing graduates a significant tuition discount and the students can take all the required baccalaureate classes on the City College Campus, taught by PLNU professors.”

Courses through the PLNU program will be taught by PLNU faculty, and the university will provide a full-time, academic advisor at the City College campus.

The partnership is one of several new programs in development at PLNU that seek to serve new populations of students and allow PLNU to further meet workforce development needs in the San Diego region and beyond. “PLNU is pleased to partner with San Diego City College to provide increased access to students across the San Diego region who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree,” said PLNU President, Bob Brower. “This is more than a simple agreement. It speaks to the collaborative relationships that exist among San Diego’s robust and diverse higher education community and affirms our respective institutions’ commitment to educational quality for the benefit of the region.”

Demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees has grown sharply in recent years, and demand for registered nurses in the state is forecast to grow by an average of 9,230 job openings annually through 2022, according to the California Employment Development Department. Part of that growth is being driven by the expansion of Medi-Cal and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and much of it is being driven by retirements of current nurses. A national study by the Institute of Medicine recommends that by 2020, 8 of 10 nurses should have a bachelor’s degree to meet the nation’s healthcare needs. The median wage in 2014 for registered nurses in California was $95,415 annually or $45.87 hourly.

“One of the most pressing needs in California is for more registered nurses, especially more RNs with bachelor's degrees,” said Constance M. Carroll, SDCCD Chancellor. “Public universities lack the capacity to meet this critical need and community colleges are currently prohibited from offering bachelor's degrees in nursing or in any fields that duplicate public university programs. Therefore, this agreement with Point Loma Nazarene University provides a sorely-needed option for our nursing students to pursue a baccalaureate on campus after completing their associate degree.”

City College’s nursing program currently offers an Associate of Science degree in nursing that prepares entry-level registered nurses as providers of care across the health and illness continuum.  PLNU’s highly respected nursing program, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Learn more about City College’s nursing program. Interested applicants can find further information at gps.pointloma.edu/rn-to-bsn.

The partnership between City College and PLNU is not related to the new Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program that allows a limited number of campuses in the California Community Colleges system to offer a bachelor’s degree.  San Diego Mesa College in the fall will begin offering a four-year degree in the rapidly growing field of Health Information Management under the new law that was authorized by SB 850.

B-roll of Nursing

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