The University of Louisiana Monroe and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System have reached a new agreement that could revolutionize the education and training of nurses in Louisiana.
Now, graduates with associate nursing degrees from any of the 12 LCTCS affiliated institutions can seamlessly and affordably transition to ULM to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
On November 30, ULM President Ron Berry and Louisiana Delta Community College Chancellor Randy Esters, representing LCTCS, signed a memorandum of understanding creating the program.
This degree transfer path establishes that once a student has successfully completed their Applied Nursing Associate or Nursing Associate, they obtain the remaining hours of general education courses equivalent to a total of 90 hours on any of the 12 LCTCS campuses and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, they are eligible for the ULM Online Nursing Program to complete the 30 hours required for a Bachelor of Science in Science nurses.
Returning to school for a BSN can be expensive and inconvenient, especially if the student works or lives in a rural area without easy access to a college campus. The agreement addresses these challenges by offering the BSN fully online.
To make the program accessible to more students, the ULM offers the last 30 hours at a rate of $ 200 per credit hour.
Esters said the agreement is the first of its kind between a university in the UL system and the LCTCS – and it was created in the parish of Ouachita.
âThis is a historic moment for all of us. This is a nursing specific agreement, and it means graduates of any LCTCS nursing program can complete all of their general education requirements at the community college, and they will transfer to the ULM BSN program. “Said Esters. âIt reinforces the concept of ‘pont le bayou’ that we talked about and dreamed about. “
Berry said that when the program was submitted to the UL System Supervisory Board, the positive reaction was immediate.
âOne of our board members said, ‘Why haven’t we done this from the start? It makes so much sense. Instead of having all these multiple chords, why not do something like this? ‘ Said Berry. âIt’s so good to have a partner who has a shared mission, a shared vision, who serves the people of Northeast Louisiana. It’s about changing lives, creating opportunities, creating pathways.
LDCC Vice Chancellor of Education and Student Services Wendi Tostenson said the deal means more nursing students will advance in their studies because they can do so affordably online. .
âIt gives our community college students the ability to cross the bayou, and that doesn’t mean they have to move their families or their lives. It is so important. These types of pathways will create long-term prosperity for our region, âTostenson said.
Wendy Bailes, director of ULM’s Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, said the program meets nationally set goals for educating nurses by breaking down barriers associated with rural, low-income, and first-generation students. , costs and awareness.
âWe are meeting the national health care education goals of 2030 by helping our students with associate’s degrees move up to BSN and eventually MSN and beyond,â Bailes said. âIt opens up opportunities. This has never been done before.