VCCS/Bluefield College Guaranteed Admissions Agreement Expands Affordable Opportunities for Nursing Students – 4.2.13
ROANOKE — Would-be nurses have an exciting, new, affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree thanks to a guaranteed admissions agreement between Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS) and Bluefield College (BC).
Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and Dr. David Olive, president of Bluefield College, a private Christian college in southwest Virginia, signed a Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) that makes the transition from RN to BSN a seamless pathway between Virginia’s Community Colleges and Bluefield College. The signing ceremony occurred in Roanoke, on the campus of Virginia Western Community College, among a collection of VWCC nursing students who may be eligible to take advantage of the partnership.
“Our RN-to-BSN degree is a transformational degree for the commonwealth and provides not only educational attainment for nurses, but improves the quality and access to healthcare in our communities,” said Dr. Olive. “We are excited about this new partnership with the Virginia Community College System and the benefit it will have for numerous nursing students to pursue their educations and vocational callings.”
“Virginia’s Community Colleges were created to address Virginia’s unmet needs in higher education and workforce training. This guaranteed admissions agreement speaks to both of those needs,” said Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “We are grateful to be working together with Bluefield College on this effort. We are excited about the savings this will mean for students, and their families, as they pursue a career in nursing. And we think this agreement is an important strategy for helping southwest Virginia address its regional need for more nurses.”
AGREEMENT BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS
Designed to facilitate the transition of nursing students from Virginia’s Community Colleges to Bluefield College, the Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) provides VCCS students who graduate with an associate of applied science degree (AAS) guaranteed admission into Bluefield College’s School of Nursing to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN).
As part of the agreement, VCCS students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and must have an unencumbered active registered nurse (RN) license and be working as a RN. By participating in the exchange, VCCS students are not required to pay Bluefield’s standard application fee and are guaranteed a 20 percent tuition waiver discount off BC’s published tuition rate, in addition to eligibility for other available scholarship funds.
FAST START FOR NEW NURSING PROGRAM
Bluefield College began its nursing program in the fall of 2010 to meet a critical need in southwest Virginia for baccalaureate nursing education. Soon after, the College developed partnerships with regional community colleges to make the nursing program more accessible to RNs and associate degree graduates in southwest Virginia.
The BC nursing program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; and is in the process of earning an additional accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a national voice for America’s nursing education programs.
BC offers the RN-to-BSN program primarily online through the College’s inSPIRE degree-completion program — a convenient, accelerated degree-completion curriculum designed to allow a working adult with prior college credit the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months.
SNEAK PEEK : NEW VWCC HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
Following the signing ceremony, participants, students and members of the media toured Virginia Western’s new Center for Science and Health Professions, set to open for classes in the fall of 2013. The approximately $26 million project will provide a new home for Virginia Western’s nursing programs, giving students the chance to train for healthcare careers in state-of-the-art labs.
The new building’s first floor will consist of an expansive dental clinic, dental labs, classrooms and offices. The dental clinic will be open to the public for free routine oral exams and x-rays. A multi-purpose room and administrative offices will be located on the second floor, in addition to the practical nursing, radiography, radiation and oncology programs. The third floor will house classrooms for nursing, physics, geology labs and general use. Biology and chemistry labs will be located on the fourth floor, taking into account all ventilation and safety needs.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.
About Bluefield College: Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Bluefield College boasts 44 academic offerings, including business, forensic science, graphic communication, criminal justice, teacher education and Christian studies. Bluefield College is touted for its classroom technology, affordability, personalized instruction, and learning settings on the mission field and in countries abroad. For more information, please visit www.bluefield.edu.