TWU expands program that streamlines path to nursing degree

Students in white coats

May 12, 2020 — HOUSTON — Texas Woman’s University is expanding an innovative nursing program that provides a direct path through the nursing ranks under a partnership with Alvin Community College in Houston, decreasing costs and shortening the time to a bachelor’s degree.

The blended nursing program, which launches at ACC in spring 2021, is the second such collaboration between TWU and a community college. The announcement comes at a time when the state’s health care work force has become increasingly stressed during the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. TWU launched its first program in 2018 at North Central Texas College in Gainesville, and its inaugural class graduates this May.

“This innovative program demonstrates the true collaborative culture that Texas Woman’s University has with community colleges,” TWU College of Nursing Dean Rosalie Mainous said. “It will help Texas put more baccalaureate-level nurses on the front lines faster, and it creates pathways for students to gain advanced nursing skills.”

Effectively, the program can reduce the lag time between degrees and provides a pathway for students that enter nursing at the community college level. “I have an associate degree in nursing. When I decided to go back for a BSN, I had to repeat classes in which I had earned an ‘A.’ We need pathways that recognize the value of the first two years and offer a way to complete the next two in an efficient manner,” Mainous said. “This program does that.”

A common pathway for many students to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing looks something like this: Students complete an associate’s degree in nursing, then apply to an RN-BSN program to move toward a baccalaureate nursing degree. Admission is competitive in both programs, and students often must stop-out in between degrees, lengthening the time to completion.

The collaborative offering between Texas Woman’s and Alvin Community College provides a more direct path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. In the program, students work concurrently toward the associate’s degree at ACC and the bachelor’s degree at TWU, which allows students to complete both degrees within four years seamlessly.

“This dual agreement pairs Texas Woman’s successful legacy of distance learning with a pool of well-prepared transfer students at Alvin to train future nurses in a way that promotes student retention and timely graduation in a cost- and time-effective manner — and that’s good for Texas,” said Stacy Ebert, dean of Legal and Health Sciences at Alvin Community College.

With Texas already experiencing a strained nursing workforce, the state is projected to have a deficit of some 60,000 registered nurses (RN) and nearly 5,000 nurse practitioners (NP) by the year 2030, about 20 percent fewer RNs and 25 percent fewer NPs than the state projects it will need to meet demand, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Media Contact

Matt Flores
Assistant Vice President, University Communications
940-898-3456
mattflores@twu.edu

Page last updated 8:27 AM, May 12, 2020