NATCHITOCHES – Administrators from Northwestern State University and SOWELA Technical Community College signed an articulation agreement Wednesday that will allow students who begin their RN career with an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing at SOWELA to transfer those credits towards the Bachelor of Nursing degree at NSU. The 2 + 2 agreement creates a seamless pathway for nurses seeking a four-year degree.
In addition to faculty and staff from NSU and SOWELA, nearly 50 first-level SOWELA nursing students attended the signing ceremony where SOWELA Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall addressed them directly.
“This takes obstacles out of your way. What we do always is to encourage you to continue your education,” he said. “This meets a critical need for our state in the workforce.”
NSU’s RN to BSN program is offered 100 percent online. Students receive individualized advising and can complete the bachelor’s program in one year.
“You can also work while you go to school. That’s why we are unique,” said Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. “This degree will expand your range of options and you can go on to earns a master’s or doctorate degree. We are excited to expand our program.”
Dr. Wendi Palermo, dean of SOWELA’s School of Nursing and Allied Health, was instrumental in designing the Associate of Science degree in nursing, now in its third year at SOWELA. Earlier this year, the program achieved its initial accreditation from the Commission of Education in Nursing
“I am really dedicated to our motto ‘Start here. Go Anywhere,’” said Palermo, an NSU alumna who began her nursing career with an associate degree.
“You come from an accredited program,” she said to students. “We are trying to remove every single barrier so you can continue.”
NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio lauded NSU as having been the first school in Louisiana to offer the RN to BSN beginning in 1949 and the program has consistently been a nationally top-ranking program for several years.
“The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing by the year 2020,” Maggio said. “Our program offers individualized plans assisting the nurses who want to pursue the Bachelor’s of Nursing degree.”
NSU and SOWELA have collaborated on a previous agreement to benefit faculty and staff. In 2015, the two institutions signed an agreement to allow fulltime SOWELA faculty and staff to enroll in up to six undergraduate or graduate credit hours at NSU at a reduced tuition rate. The agreement provides higher education opportunities to SOWELA faculty and staff in reaching their academic goals.
For information on degree programs at Northwestern State, visit nsula.edu. For information on opportunities at SOWELA, visit sowela.edu.