By Lauren Whitaker
Volunteer State Community College has announced that they will offer an associate degree program in nursing beginning in the fall 2019 semester.
Vol State has considered an associate degree program in nursing for eight years, according to Elvis Brandon, dean of health sciences at Vol State.
“We have actually had the proposal ready twice, but because of the cost of the program, we decided not to move forward with it the first two times,” Brandon said.
The degree is designed to stand alone. Depending on schools with a bridge program from the associate in nursing to the bachelor’s in nursing, there will be the option for students pursuing this degree to transfer, according to Brandon.
The program will have a limit on the amount of students admitted into it.
“Students will have to complete all the prerequisite classes, and obviously, it will be competitive based on grade point average,” said Brandon.
“It’s about time that Vol State got a nursing program,” said Anna Lawson, Vol State student.
“I had hoped they would start one in time for me to go to it, but I’m so excited for future students to have this opportunity. Vol State is a great school, and I’m so glad that they are giving their students more opportunities in education,” Lawson said.
Despite a bachelor’s degree in nursing being recommended, students graduating with an associate degree in nursing can work as a registered nurse, a travel nurse, a school nurse, a psychiatric nurse, and a neonatal intensive care nurse, according to nursing.org.
Students can expect to spend 18-24 months in school before graduating with an associate degree in nursing; and after earning this degree, students are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses before becoming a registered nurse, according to Rasmussen.edu.