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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU nursing department pilots new accelerated bachelor's program

New Mexico State University's Department of Nursing will hold an introductory meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Educational Services Building Room 7 to discuss a new pilot program that allows people with bachelor's degrees in any field to get a second bachelor's degree in nursing in as little as 15 months.

not new to nursing education, there has been an increase in accelerated programs since 1990 in response to the critical shortage of nurses, said Alison Druck, an NMSU professor of nursing. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there were 31 accelerated baccalaureate programs in 1990 and now there are 105, with more than 50 additional programs in the planning stages.

New Mexico State's pilot of an accelerated bachelor's in nursing would require that interested applicants have a bachelor's degree in any field with a 3.0 overall grade point average and a nursing assistant certificate. Interested individuals also must have at least nine hours of college-level science credits, six hours of anatomy and physiology and three hours of another science.

Druck said the nursing certificate, which at the Dona Ana Branch Community College consists of a 160-hour program usually over one semester, is required of applicants to establish their interest in the nursing field.

Druck said the AACN using Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for a million new and replacement registered nurses by 2010, so nursing schools around the country are exploring creative ways to increase student capacity.

The pilot program is scheduled to start in May 2004 during NMSU's first summer session and will admit eight students in the first class.

For more information on the pilot program, call (505) 646-1919.