MAYS LANDING _ Students accepted to Atlantic Cape Community College’s registered nursing program will also be able to get a more affordable bachelor’s degree in nursing through an agreement with Rutgers-Camden signed Wednesday.
Under the new RN to BSN agreement, qualified students will be able complete their associates degree in Nursing at Atlantic Cape, attend the community college for a third year to take an additional 30 credits, then transfer to the Rutgers-Camden completion center on the Atlantic Cape campus to complete the final 30 credits required for their BS in nursing.
The program will allow students to pay the lower community college tuition and fee rate for their third year. Admission is guarantee to students who complete their associates degree in applied nursing from Atlantic Cape with a minimum 2.7 grade point average, successfully pass the NCLEX exam, and are licensed as a Registered Nurses.
“We are very excited that through this degree our nursing students will have access to continue their education to obtain an advanced credential at a lower cost,” Myrna Morales-Keklak, chair of the Nursing Program at Atlantic Cape, said in a statement issued by the college. “More and more, health care facilities require the Bachelor of Science in Nursing as a condition of employment.”
Atlantic Cape currently has an articulation with Rutgers’ Nursing program in which students complete the RN program at Atlantic Cape and transfer to complete the remaining 60 credits at Rutgers. Students will be advised of the new 3+1 program when they apply to Atlantic Cape.
“Through this new program, Rutgers–Camden and Atlantic Cape will collaborate to grow a diverse workforce of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who will help us better meet the health care needs of Atlantic and Cape May counties while also helping to grow economic and career opportunities for this region,” said Joanne Robinson, dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden.
The nursing program at Atlantic Cape is competitive. For the fall 2015 class, the college had 179 applicants, with 99 accepted, according to data provided by the college, which has added a new evening cohort to accommodate the demand.
Community colleges in Union and Passaic counties have asked to offer their own four-year nursing degrees, but that request was narrowly rejected in January by the New Jersey Presidents Council, and is now being reviewed by Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks.