published on June 6, 2016 - 8:35 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A new partnership with University of Phoenix will allow West Hills College Lemoore nursing students to earn units toward a Bachelor of Science nursing degree with concurrent enrollment.

An initial cohort of seven students from West Hills College Lemoore and seven students from College of the Sequoias in Visalia working on their Associate’s Degree in nursing will be the first to take advantage of the new offering.

“This option with University of Phoenix offers students a streamlined way to complete their BSN in a timely fashion to help secure employment upon graduation,” said Kathryn DeFede, RN MSN, interim health careers director.

Students will be able to take the courses during semester breaks, including summer and winter. DeFede estimated that, through concurrent enrollment, some students could graduate from West Hills College Lemoore with as a few as 20 units left to complete their B.S., which could then be earned in less than a year from University of Phoenix.

The partnership is partially a response to recent indications that the demand for qualified nurses is increasing. The Institute of Medicine called for 80 percent of nurses to have a BSN in Nursing by 2020, a goal which DeFede said four-year colleges and community colleges are working together to meet.
“[Associate’s Degree] programs in California produce more RNs than four-year programs, so it would be difficult for four-year programs to meet the demand for nurses entirely on their own so for all of us to work together is the best outcome, and there has been some progress made in this area already up and down the state of California,” she said.

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