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Partnership forms to offer RN2BSN Program at HCC

Halifax Community College (HCC) has formed a partnership with North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Halifax Regional Medical Center to extend one of HCC’s oldest programs into the larger regional area. Individuals who are registered nurses can pursue a Bachelor of Nursing degree through NCCU at HCC.

 

 “There is a critical need for nurses to stay in the area,” explained Dr. Joy Cooley, former vice president for Instructional Services, who is now working to promote the program. “We are not recruiting students for HCC. We are recruiting graduates who already are RNs. In fact, you must be an RN to attend the program.”

 

The first cohort will start in the summer 2010. The RN2BSN program will take, on average, two years or less for students to complete, depending on the courses that they need to take. Information sessions were held Dec. 3-4 so those interested could meet one-on-one with NCCU nursing faculty. More than 30 individuals attended the sessions and Cooley is receiving calls and e-mails daily from other RNs who are interested. The program will be ongoing, depending on the need.

 

“Folks are employed and have families. They need access to education and support,” Cooley noted. NCCU has dedicated resources to the program just as they would on their campus. Plus, HCC is currently enhancing the nursing skills lab so that clinical work can be completed on campus.

 

Cooley cited North Carolina Employment Security Commission figures that show there are 480 registered nurses in Halifax and Northampton counties, which is an estimated one for every 159 citizens. The demand is expected to increase by more than 22 percent by 2016.

 

“We want to have the best-trained, well-educated nurses as possible. …There are economic and health care ramifications for our area,” said Cooley.

 

Dr. Joy Cooley, far left, with NCCU Nursing Counselor/Tutor Melusian Wright, Nursing Department Assistant Chair Dr. E. Joyce Roland, Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Jennie De Gagne, and Nursing Department Chair and Professor Dr. Lorna Harris

 

NCCU Nursing Department Counselor/Tutor Melusian Wright, left, and Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Jennie De Gagne talk with Halifax Regional Medical Center RN Lacey Mooney, right, a prospective student for the RN2BSN program.