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Bachelor's degree now available for working nurses

Class schedule accommodates employed professionals

To help meet a growing demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees, CSU Monterey Bay started a nursing program in 2012, partnering with four local community colleges.

Starting in June, the program will add a tract for already-employed nurses with associate’s degrees who want to earn a bachelor’s while they continue to work.

Classes will be held in the late afternoons and evenings; some will be traditional face-to-face classes, some will be online.

The curriculum will include courses on research methods, evidence-based practice, health policy, informatics, genomics and chronic care management.

The plan is to enroll 35 students in the first class. Students will take classes in the summer, fall, spring and summer 2015 sessions and can graduate in 14 months – if they have completed all general education requirements before enrolling at CSUMB.

In addition to nurses who are currently employed, the program will admit recent community college nursing graduates. “The idea is for a seamless transition from community college to CSUMB,” said Dr. Marianne Hultgren, interim director of nursing.

In a 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examined future demands. The report suggested that the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees increase to 80 percent by 2020 in order to meet the demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients. Today, only 30 percent of California nurses have four-year degrees.

“We need to partner with health care organizations and be responsive to their needs,” Dr. Hultgren said.

Learn more about the program.