SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Westfield State University and Springfield Technical Community College formalized the creation of a program that will make it easier and more affordable for registered nurses to get bachelor’s degrees.
The program, which is called an RN-to-BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) bridge program, will allow students from STCC to garner their bachelor’s degrees while taking classes mostly online and at STCC. It is said to be the first program of its kind in western Massachusetts and offers a lower price than most other bachelor’s degree programs.
The program will work as a transfer program between the two institutions. Westfield State University will allow the transfer of up to 90 credits from STCC’s program, which will then leave just 30 credits–about 10 classes–for a student to complete for their degree.
The price tag for the 30 credits is $10,500, according to Westfield State University. This is a significantly lower cost of other similar programs, which can range to as high as just under $30,000.
The program is aimed at all RNs, but more specifically toward those “25 and older,” or nontraditional students, according to a press release provided. These nontraditional students–a number that has grown to over a third of all college students in the US–need greater flexibility in their schedules, and an online and evening class-based schedule like this program has provides that.
Massachusetts’ commissioner of higher education Dr. Carlos Santiago, who was in attendance for the contract signing, said that the creation of this program was no easy task for those involved.
“The transfer work that you do is among the most difficult work you do, but it is probably also the most important,” Santiago said. “We have come very close to creating transfer programs with 16 majors and nursing was always the most difficult.”
State Rep. John Velis said that nursing is something that is close to him and he recognizes the field’s importance.
“I know the hard work you put in and nurses are the backbone of the medical field,” he said.
In addition to Santiago and Velis being in attendance, state Sen. James Welch, Westfield State University president Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, STCC president Dr. John Cook and Westfield schools superintendent Stefon Czaporowski were also on hand.
Copyright 2016 The Westfield News