From West Hills College

Through a partnership with University of Phoenix, West Hills College Lemoore nursing students will now be able to take advantage of concurrent enrollment to earn units toward a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree. WHCL nursing students working on their Associate’s Degree in Nursing are now eligible to take courses through University of Phoenix starting this month as part of the new Transfer Pathway-Concurrent Enrollment Program.

An initial cohort of seven students from WHCL and seven students from College of the Sequoias will be the first to take advantage of this new offering.

“This option with University of Phoenix offers students a streamlined way to complete their BSN in a timely fashion to help secure employment upon graduation,” said Interim Health Careers Director Kathryn DeFede, RN MSN.

Students will be able to take the courses during semester breaks, including this summer and winter.  DeFede estimated that, through concurrent enrollment, some students could graduate from WHCL with as a few as 20 units left to complete their BSN, which could then be earned in less than a year from University of Phoenix.

The partnership is partially a response to recent indications that the demand for qualified nurses is increasing. The Institute of Medicine called for 80% of nurses to have a BSN in Nursing by 2020, a goal which DeFede said four-year colleges and community colleges are working together to meet.

“ADN programs in California produce more RNs than four-year programs, so it would be difficult for four-year programs to meet the demand for nurses entirely on their own so for all of us to work together is the best outcome, and there has been some progress made in this area already up and down the state of California,” she said.

DeFede added that the program has several added benefits, including increased online modality options, reducing time to completion and potentially reducing student enrollment and tuition costs as a result of completing the BSN faster while simultaneously earning an ADN. It can also make graduates more appealing to prospective employers.

“The WHCL nursing program is focused on providing students the best opportunity for success within the profession, and that includes encouraging our students to plan for and enter RN-BSN programs,” she said.

Call the Health Careers office at (559) 925-3490 for more information.