Six Dallas-area students graduated this spring from colleges in the Dallas County Community College District with associate degrees in nursing through the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing’s concurrent enrollment Bachelor of Science in Nursing pipeline.
The agreement between the Hunt School of Nursing and the community college district allows students to transition into the nursing school’s R.N. to B.S.N. program upon successful completion of the associate degree in nursing program at Brookhaven College or Mountain View College. The school of nursing established the concurrent enrollment partnership with Brookhaven in 2016 and with Mountain View in 2018.
Manny Santa Cruz, D.N.P., M.B.A., R.N., assistant professor and assistant dean and chair of undergraduate programs at the Hunt School of Nursing, attended the pinning ceremony for the community college graduates.
“The pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses in the profession,” Santa Cruz said. “Graduating students who were involved in the concurrent enrollment nursing program were presented with a Hunt School of Nursing pin and an honor cord. It was a great opportunity to welcome them to the Hunt School of Nursing as they continue their baccalaureate education with us.”
Santa Cruz is currently teaching an online class that has 30 students from Brookhaven and Mountain View.
The concurrent enrollment program was developed in the wake of a 2010 Institute of Medicine report, which found that only 50% of nurses in the U.S. had bachelor’s degrees. The report prompted a nationwide movement to increase the number of nurses with B.S.N. degrees to 80% by the year 2020.
Students in the concurrent enrollment pipeline can complete associate and B.S.N. degrees without leaving the Dallas area. In addition, students can conduct their clinical rotations at area hospitals while participating in classroom learning at Brookhaven and Mountain View and taking online courses through the Hunt School of Nursing.
Students at the Dallas colleges can complete up to six credit hours of the school of nursing’s R.N. to B.S.N. program while they are enrolled in their associate degree program, allowing for a smooth transition into the school of nursing’s B.S.N. program.