Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) has partnered with Brookhaven Community College in Dallas, Texas to create a dual enrollment Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program. This new partnership will establish the first and only dual enrollment nursing program in the Paso del Norte region.
The program was developed in response to a 2010 report issued by the Institute of Medicine, which found that only 50 percent 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 percent by the year 2020.
“There’s a high percentage of nurses with associate degrees in the U.S., but these days, you need a bachelor’s degree to really be considered for a position,” says Manny Santa Cruz, assistant dean of the TTUHSC El Paso Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON). “Through this program, our goal is to help meet the needs of achieving a B.S.N. workforce.”
Up until now, nursing students at Brookhaven College could only earn an associate degree. This new partnership will allow students to enroll at both institutions to pursue an associate degree from Brookhaven and a B.S.N. from TTUHSC El Paso.
Students enrolled in the program will be able to complete their two degrees without leaving Dallas. They’ll conduct clinical rotations at Dallas-area hospitals while participating in classroom learning at Brookhaven College and taking online courses through the GGHSON.
“Research has shown that those with B.S.N.s are more suited for bedside care and entry-level nursing,” Santa Cruz explains. “B.S.N.s are generally more well-rounded; they’re trained to identify more than the physical needs of the patient, but the psychological and social needs, too.”
The new partnership is expected to greatly increase the number of students enrolled at the GGHSON. Students may begin enrolling as early as spring 2017.