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NCCU, CCCC sign nursing degree agreement

Click to enlarge NCCU, CCCC sign nursing degree agreement

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North Carolina Central University Chancellor Dr. Debra Saunders-White (left) and Central Carolina ... (more)

11.14.2013College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum Programs

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College and North Carolina Central University have signed an agreement that will allow CCCC's Associate Degree Nursing students to dual enroll at NCCU in order to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in four years.

NCCU Chancellor Dr. Debra Saunders-White and CCCC President Dr. Bud Marchant signed the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) agreement Oct. 31 at NCCU. The program will start with the fall 2014 semester.

"This collaboration between North Carolina Central University and Central Carolina Community College is a significant contribution toward educating the nurses needed for the ever-expanding health care field," said Marchant. "Both our schools have excellent reputations for nursing education. The RIBN will increase opportunities for training, as well as make that training more affordable and accessible for those interested in earning their BSNs."

The nursing students in the RIBN program will complete their Associate Degree Nursing at CCCC during the first two years and take the NCLEX-RN examination to become registered nurses. They will also have taken one course per semester from NCCU.

They will continue at CCCC the third year, earning general education credits ("bridge" courses) that will transfer to NCCU. The fourth year, they will attend NCCU and earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Doing three years of the four-year program at the community college will result in significant savings on their educational costs.

According to the Foundation for Nursing Excellence, North Carolina is facing a nursing workforce shortage, both in numbers of nurses and level of preparation, which will eventually impact all citizens of the state. The NC Center for Nursing projects that, without significant intervention, by 2020 there will be a potential shortage of 32,000 registered nurses in the state.

There is also a great need to increase the educational level of those in the nursing profession because of the complexity of modern health care and the health care delivery system as well as an increase in positions requiring a BSN or Master's degree, such as clinical leaders, patient care managers and administrators, and nursing faculty.

"This RIBN program is a step toward addressing that shortage," said Saunders-White. "And it is important to note that a high percentage of NCCU's nursing graduates go to work in underserved communities throughout the state. Not only are we increasing the number of well-trained nurses in the pipeline, we're also steering them to the communities where they are most needed."

A high percentage of Central Carolina Community College's ADN graduates also work in underserved communities, making NCCU's program a good fit for the college's nursing graduates, according to Dr. Pam Jenkins, chair of CCCC's Nursing Department.

"From my previous work as program coordinator with the RIBN project for the Foundation for Nursing Excellence, I knew what qualifications would be needed for a successful match between CCCC and a university school of nursing," Jenkins said. "NCCU was the only school we considered because of the reputation of the school and their school of nursing, and their philosophy, mission and goals match CCCC's philosophy, mission and goals. But most importantly, we wanted to partner with NCCU because the challenges their students face are the same as the challenges our students face so our students would easily fit into their university."

The RIBN program is a highly competitive one. Applicants must be accepted into both the CCCC Associate in Nursing Degree and NCCU's Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. They must also be on the North Carolina Nurse Aide I Registry. Applicants must meet required academic standards and other prerequisites.

For more information about the RIBN program at Central Carolina Community College, contact Dr. Pam Jenkins, CCCC Nursing Department chair, at 919-718-7281 or