NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University and Louisiana Delta Community College formalized an agreement that will allow nurses to advance their professional careers and increase the number of nurses in the workforce who hold bachelor’s degrees. NSU and LDCC signed the 2 + 2 articulation that will allow students who complete an associate degree in nursing at LDCC to transfer those credits towards a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State.
“What is a bachelor’s degree going to do?” Dr. Dana Clawson asked the standing room only crowd of associate degree nursing students who attended Wednesday’s signing at LDCC. “Help you be a better leader, be a better nurse practitioner, an educator, an administrator. We hear nothing but good things about graduates of this program. We want nurses who care to graduate from NSU. This agreement provides for seamless articulation from the associate to baccalaureate degree in nursing.”
Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, told the ASN students at Delta that she was once one of them. She began her career with an associate degree and went on to earn her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. She encouraged the senior level ASN students to continue on, as she had, in their academic journey.
“My faculty said, ‘Don’t stop. Keep going.’ This agreement is for you and you are in your senior year. You are rolling,” Clawson said.
“We are providing our students opportunities for education beyond the associate degree in nursing,” said Sherita Williams, director of nursing at LDCC. “We all know there is a shortage of nurses. As our student matriculate through the program, we are pushing them to pursue the bachelor’s. It’s not about pay; it’s about leadership.”
Northwestern State’s ASN to BSN program is offered online and can be individualized to accommodate working professionals. The degree can be completed in as little as one year with flat rate tuition costs.
Williams worked closely with Dr. Danita Potter, director of NSU’s ASN to BSN program, to coordinate curriculums so that LDCC students are rigorously prepared to pursue their bachelor’s degree through NSU. Potter said she will work with students individually as they enroll in the program.
Dr. Dennis Epps, chancellor at LDCC, said the convenience and access of the online program are important in producing nurses that meet needs in rural hospitals and that Delta has a reputation for producing nurses that put patients first.
“I want you to see that all that can stop you is you. This pathway is wide open and it can be completed online so you don’t have to stop your jobs. Ask yourself is it worth it? It’s going to be worth it. There is no doubt that the career you are preparing for is in high demand.”
NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio praised academic leadership at both institutions for creating a program that can accommodate students in the workforce.
“We will be taking everything you learned here and making sure that it articulates seamlessly so you can get your BSN in one year at your convenience with flat rate tuition,” Maggio said. “This works for people who want to get their bachelor’s degree and beyond. It takes a good team to make this happen and we can only do this because of the faculty, academic leadership and strong curriculum.”
In recent years, Northwestern State has developed 2 + 2 agreements with several community and technical colleges around the state for students pursuing careers in nursing, engineering technology/manufacturing, forensic science, computer information systems, communications and business administration. NSU and LDCC already have 2 + 2 agreements in place to benefit students pursuing careers in manufacturing and forensic science.
Information on NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health is available at nursing.nsula.edu. Information on Louisiana Delta Community College is available at ladelta.edu.