ACC to launch first bachelor’s degree program fall 2018

Austin Community College (ACC) will launch its first bachelor’s degree program this fall. The RN-to-BSN program addresses a critical nursing shortage in Central Texas and creates a new advancement pathway for local registered nurses (RN). It allows registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma to complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN).

“We’re facing a severe nursing shortage. It is important to do everything we can to ensure a workforce with the training and credentials that clinics and hospitals require,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “This new program expands opportunity for thousands of nurses in our region to grow their skill set and advance in their careers.”

More than 7,500 Central Texas registered nurses qualify for the program. The demand for BSN-credentialed nurses has become essential. Many clinical agencies and hospitals require currently employed registered nurses to complete the bachelor’s degree within a specified timeframe due to best-practice recommendations put forward by the National Academies of Science that call for 80 percent of nurses to have BSNs by 2020. In Central Texas, the need for more BSN-credentialed nurses is even higher because of the aging workforce and an aging and expanding population.

“Healthcare is in a time of transition,” says Greg Hartman, chief of external and academic affairs with the Seton Healthcare Family. “We need more nurses. When someone comes from a community college program they’re more likely to stay in the community, and that’s a huge thing.”

ACC’s RN-to-BSN Program provides students a flexible and affordable pathway. Traditional and hybrid (with face-to-face and online components) course options are available to accommodate busy schedules. Students learn management, leadership, theory, and research skills. The program can be completed in as little as 12 months. Upon completion, students are eligible to pursue supervisory jobs such as nurse manager and patient unit coordinator.

“This (a BSN) is something I know I want and need in the workforce, but the cost of getting a bachelor’s degree is hard to get past,” says Megan Snay, ACC nursing graduate. “This makes it all so much more achievable and affordable.”

Students enrolled in ACC’s RN-to-BSN Program pay less than half the cost of typical public university tuition.

Cost of Nursing Hours in the RN-to-BSN Component*

ACC $2,550 (in district)
Texas Tech online $8,022 (in state)
UT Arlington online $8,995 (in state)
Texas A&M online $8,885 (in state)
Concordia $15,180
*Additional coursework, such as general education, may be necessary.
(Source: College For All Texans, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 2016-17)

The program has been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting body.

Applications for fall are now being accepted. For more information and to apply, visit austincc.edu/bsn.

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