ACC to begin developing RN-to-BSN degree program

Austin Community College (ACC) is beginning its work to develop curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 2118 into law Monday, June 12, authorizing ACC and other select community colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs.

“This will bring tremendous benefits to our community and our state. Our lawmakers recognize community college RN-to-BSN programs make sense,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “Together we will help underserved and underrepresented students who might not otherwise have access to BSN programs.”

Maintaining a strong nurse pipeline is an ongoing challenge. The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies projects the demand for registered nurses in the state could exceed supply by almost 60,000 by 2030.

“We’re facing a critical nursing shortage,” says Yvonne VanDyke, MSN, RN, Seton Healthcare Family system chief nursing executive. “We have an aging population, nurse retirements, and our community is growing rapidly. Allowing ACC and other qualified community colleges to offer BSN programs will help Texas health systems meet our workforce need.”

ACC’s RN-to-BSN program will target the more than 7,500 working nurses in Central Texas who are looking to earn a BSN credential.

“Cost is definitely a barrier for many registered nurses,” says Saberin Ibrahim, ACC nursing student. “Now that we have a new opportunity, there’s renewed hope.”

Nursing students at ACC would pay less than half the cost of typical public university tuition. Through SB 2118, ACC expects to provide about 500 additional nurses each year.

The college anticipates spending the next 18 to 24 months obtaining necessary approvals from state and accrediting agencies and developing the curriculum, resources, and processes to support the expanded programming.

For more information about ACC’s nursing program visit austincc.edu/nursing. Enrollment for fall is underway.

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