North Carolina A&T State University and  Vance-Granville Community College have formed a partnership that will allow graduates of VGCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program to easily transition to N.C. A&T’s four-year nursing degree program. Representatives of the college and the university formally signed their new agreement in a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s main campus. Through this new “RN to BSN” partnership program, a registered nurse will be able to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing within one calendar  year of earning his or her associate degree at VGCC if the prerequisites have been met.

The program is the first bilateral agreement of any kind between VGCC and A&T, although the community college system and the UNC system enjoy a comprehensive articulation agreement that allows VGCC students to smoothly transfer general education credits to all of the state’s four-year public universities.

"This partnership is an exciting opportunity for N.C. A&T and Vance-Granville Community College to educate well-prepared nurses to meet the growing health care needs across our region and nation," A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said. "We want to ensure that graduates of the VGCC nursing program make a seamless transition into the Bachelor of Science Nursing completion program at A&T."

Advising of VGCC students interested in this new opportunity will begin this summer. New VGCC graduates could potentially enroll in the RN to BSN program at A&T as early as the Fall 2014 semester. Once students transfer, they will be able to complete a majority of their coursework online, while also traveling to the university’s campus in Greensboro one day per week for traditional face-to-face classes.

Students who participate in the program will combine their VGCC nursing education with a university curriculum that incorporates principles of leadership and ethics, and focuses on the management of patient populations using emerging technologies. Earning a BSN is particularly attractive for registered nurses today, as hospitals attempt to gain or maintain the coveted “magnet status,” which is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. As a way to earn magnet accreditation, many hospitals are encouraging current and future employees to advance their education and professional development through credentials such as a BSN degree.

“This partnership will mean greater opportunities for our nursing students to succeed and to grow as professionals,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the president of VGCC.  “Our educational collaboration will help us to meet the changing needs of our health-care system.”