The State Board of Education has approved Tallahassee Community College to offer a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program.
TCC has started seeking applicants for the program, it is set to start May 6.
In 2013, President of TCC Jim Murdaugh, proposed the school develop a BSN program for students who already have an Associate in Science in Nursing. Three years later the board has approved the plans.
“This program will meet a critical need in our community. Our community partners have made it clear to us that they need more nurses with this higher education,” Murdaugh said in a statement.
This would be the first bachelor’s degree offered by the college. According to school officials, this program will differ from the others in town because it was designed to meet the needs of working nurses.
The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They are said to later pursue accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
“We realize a baccalaureate degree can be a requirement if registered nurses want to expand their professional nursing practice,” dean of health care programs and executive, Alice Nied said.
Tallahassee has suffered a shortage of nurses with four-year degrees in the region’s healthcare facilities according to community healthcare leaders.
Courses will be offered nights, weekends and online through the Division of Healthcare Professionals. This allows students to move through the program at a guided pace. The candidate must receive their BSN within four years of entry into the program.
“It gives me the chance to continue working and not quit when I finish my associates (degree), so that’s great for me,” Marietta Mclaughin, a third-year TCC nursing student from Sarasota said.
The program will give nursing students who already received their associates a chance at higher-level positions, that includes leadership and management. Students will then be able to segue to master’s and doctoral nursing programs.
Tallahassee currently has two other universities that offer this degree. Murdaugh said that opening up this program will not take away enrollment from the other schools who offers it.
According to statistics, most students who graduate from those programs leave town leaving the need for nurses in Tallahassee. It will give TCC students a chance to receive their BSN without transferring in a comfortable setting.
The program includes 30 credit hours of instruction in the nursing core. TCC’s nursing faculty with doctorate degrees will be teaching the advanced classes.