In response to workforce needs and an ongoing nursing shortage, Austin Community College hopes to begin offering the increasingly essential bachelor’s degree credential to the college’s associate degree nursing graduates by 2017.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is recommending state lawmakers allow community colleges offer RN-to-BSN programs to address the ongoing demand for registered nurses and the increased Â need for those prepared at the BSN level.
“ACC has been recognized for its outstanding nurse education since 1974,” says ACC President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes. “A BSN option would allow us to build upon our highly regarded Associate Degree Nursing programs while helping our students fulfill a vital need.”
BSN as the new minimum requirement
As healthcare delivery changes, nurses incorporate increasingly complex roles. Many clinical agencies and hospitals require nurse applicants to have a BSN and Â current nurse employees to obtain the degree within a specified timeframe.
“Our goal is to provide an additional educational pathway to facilitate academic progression for registered nurses that offers flexibility and affordability,” says Nancy Walters, chair of the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program.
A tradition of excellence
Adding an RN-to-BSN program to its current programs would enable ACC to continue a tradition of quality education that began 40 years ago when Brackenridge Hospital transferred its nursing program to the college. ACC eventually absorbed the Brackenridge program, making ACC the primary provider of nursing education Austin and driving the college’s early growth.
ACC offers two ADN tracks and has RN-to-BSN articulation agreements with many four-year universities including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University.
The college’s nursing programs produce hundreds of new nurses every year, including more than 250 registered nurses. Graduates consistently excel at the national licensure exam, with passing rates of 91 percent to 98 percent.
An RN-to-BSN program would allow students to complete all of their general education and nursing classes – about 120 credits – at ACC. The first BSN cohort would have 25-40 students, who would pay about $4,350 in total tuition costs, compared with $10,000 to $15,000 at a university.
Proposed program expansion
ACC would establish the RN-to-BSN program with revenue supported by the proposed increase to the college’s maintenance and operations tax cap. Increasing the M&O tax cap is one of three proposals in the November 4 ACC bond and tax cap election. Proposition 2 of the bond package includes plans to expand the Round Rock Campus to accommodate more health sciences classes and students.
For more information about the bond proposals, visit the ACC bond and tax cap election webpage.Back to Top
By Naiomi October 8, 2014 - 2:01 pm
This would be great! When will we know if this will be offered?
By mreyes October 8, 2014 - 2:18 pm
Hi Naiomi, thanks for asking! We’ll know more after the upcoming legislative session.
By Kristina October 8, 2014 - 2:44 pm
This is exciting. I am in a current RN-BSN program after graduating in Dec. ACC prepared me well and no doubt this program would succeed!!
By Melissa Taft October 8, 2014 - 3:20 pm
Austin Community College has a great nursing program!! I started out obtaining my CNA certificate, went on to obtain my LVN certificate and then graduated with my associates in nursing. The nurses that graduate from ACC are 10 times more educated than most other universities.
I would love to a graduate with my BSN through Austin Community College. please keep us informed
By Wanda Wilson October 8, 2014 - 3:59 pm
This is wonderful news. I am a graduate of the ACC nursing program and have recently been looking into getting my BSN. I was well prepared by ACC to go out and provide quality nursing care to my patients. Please let me know when I can start
By Carrie October 8, 2014 - 4:18 pm
This would be absolutely brilliant. My ACC nursing education has served me very well, and I know a BSN program will definitely be the future of nursing. Good luck in your efforts. Both the community and the hospitals in it will benefit from BSN nurses educated in the ACC nursing standard.
By Emily Osborn October 8, 2014 - 5:27 pm
Sign me up!
By Lina kobeissi October 8, 2014 - 6:40 pm
I will be the first student to proudly apply
By Christy October 8, 2014 - 11:59 pm
I would gladly sign up for this program!!
By Becky McAnally October 9, 2014 - 8:32 am
I AM IN!!
By Michelle Hancock October 9, 2014 - 11:24 am
I am very interested in this!! If it was an option, I would apply immediately. I hope this happens!!
By Sophia October 10, 2014 - 8:54 am
Save me a spot!
By Marion October 11, 2014 - 7:26 am
Yes, sign me up!!! I would love to go to ACC to receive my BSN!
By Kruti October 13, 2014 - 9:33 am
Awesome! Looking forward to this.
By Katherine Tomeny October 14, 2014 - 8:47 am
I would apply today! Very excited!
By Kimberly Cervantes November 17, 2014 - 4:08 pm
applying to the RN program for fall 2015 out of town. Would LOVE if this fell through by the time for when i get out with an associates!