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Preparing Our Future Nurses: PCC Partners with APU

With the novel corona-virus pandemic creating challenges for hospitals and medical clinics across the board, there is a need for registered nurses like never before.

“There are various routes to becoming a registered nurse,” explains Dr. Micah Young, PCC’s Dean of Health Sciences. “Historically, it’s the greatest workforce production in the U.S. and it’s largely done through community colleges.”

Indeed, community colleges are what many students seek out when it comes to getting their associate degree in nursing. It is usually an intensive 2-year program that requires students to pass a rigorous exam—the NCLEX-RN— in order to become a registered nurse (RN). More recently, however, there’s been a push to hire nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

“Because some institutions are seeking Magnet status for clinical programs in the hospitals, we partnered with Azusa Pacific University (APU) to make sure our nursing students remain economically and competitively viable for the workforce,” says Dr. Young. “What’s unique about our opportunity with APU is it provides an integrated pathway to cut down on time.”

Whereas a BSN typically requires four years of study to include general education classes in addition to the nursing curriculum, the college’s partnership with APU will allow students to complete their BSN within as little as 8 to 10 weeks after they graduate from PCC.

“This is a significant reduction of time,” Dr. Young emphasizes, “and it gets them prepared to enter the workforce quickly. It’s a game-changer.”

Going forward, nursing students will have the option of being jointly admitted to both PCC and APU, meaning they will be dually enrolled in a bachelor and associate degree program from day one. This will not only accelerate their educational journey to receive their BSN, it will ensure their ability to enter the workforce efficiently, expertly, and expediently, something especially important in a time when nurses are so vital to the well-being of the community.

“The significant contributions during all this…” Dr. Young says, taking a notable pause, “…you really start to see the impact these healthcare programs have on the wellness of our community. We’re glad APU has considered our students worthy to be admitted into their program. And they’re right. Our students are very much dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible. They are so eager to start their professional journey and get involved and be active in caring for people. It’s truly inspiring.”