HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College Department of Nursing Education Chair Deborah “Pepper” Hoover recently presented information about the program’s joint enrollment model with the University of Alabama at Birmingham during the 2020 National League for Nursing (NLN) Virtual Education Summit.
Master of Teaching – Art of Leadership was the theme for this year’s summit, which was held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,000 nursing educators attended the summit via the Internet, with numerous sessions presented during the three-day event from Sept. 23-25.
Hoover presented “Getting the BSN Degree: An Innovative Joint Enrollment Model” with Linda Moneyham, Sherita Etheridge and Nancy Claus of the UAB School of Nursing, and Brenda O’Neal of Jefferson State Community College.
Wallace State welcomed its second cohort in the UAB/WSCC Joint Enrollment option this fall, which allows students to earn both the associate degree and nursing degree in Nursing through classes at Wallace State and UBA. It’s first cohort is on track to graduate in August 2021.
The presentation outlined the need for such a model and its benefits to both students and the field of nursing by reducing barriers co completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Hoover’s portion concentrated on the keys to starting a successful joint enrollment pathway.
According to the presentation, the need for more highly educated nursing workforce is one of the reasons behind creating the joint enrollment model, as well as seamless progression for associate degree nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree.
A common barrier to that is too few seats are available in baccalaureate nursing programs. That means many qualified candidates are not admitted to BSN programs each year, delaying their ability to compete a bachelor’s degree. That and other delaying factors that were noted, such as working full-time, completing pre-requisite courses for BSN programs and part-time enrollment in a BSN program, can easily stretch the competition time to six years to achieve the BSN.
The joint enrollment model employed at Wallace State allows the student to complete their prerequisites before applying to WSCC and UAB to complete their nursing courses. Students complete all their pre-requisite courses in four semesters and the next five semesters are all nursing courses taught concurrently by Wallace State and UAB.
The model creates savings in tuition since the tuition for WSCC courses costs more than two times less than the average tuition at an Alabama four-year university. It also allows a seamless progression toward both the associate and bachelor’s degrees
The program is currently accepting applications for both its traditional program leading to an associate degree and its joint enrollment program with UAB.
The deadline to apply to the program for Spring 2021 is Oct. 1, with classes starting January 11. Information can be found at www.wallacestate.edu/nursing. The next application period is March 15-May 15 for Fall 2021 admission.
The Wallace State Department of Nursing Education is well-respected in the field, with licensure rates above the national average, a high employment rate. The program was twice designated as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing.
For more information about Wallace State’s Nursing program, visit www.wallacestate.edu/nursing or call 256-352-8199.