Ferrum College announced Wednesday that it will launch a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in nursing program starting in January. The new program comes on the heels of Ferrum’s RN to BSN online program, which launched this fall.
“We’ve had people in the community for years asking, ‘when are you bringing nursing, when are you bringing nursing,’ and so it is, again, along with our mission, our obligation, to meet not only that workforce need in the area to provide jobs for individuals, but also provide caregivers for our community constituents,” said Kim Brown, Ferrum’s nursing division chair and associate professor.
While the online RN to BSN program is geared toward professionals who may already have an associate degree in nursing, the pre-licensure BSN program will prepare pre-professional health science students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, Brown said.
The college is working to revamp classroom and office space on campus in the lower level of Vaughn Chapel, previously used by Tri-Area Community Health Center and Pharmacy, Brown said. The space was left vacant after the health center moved into a new, 17,000-square-foot facility on Ferrum Mountain Road in February.
In addition, students will have access to a simulation lab at The Franklin Center in Rocky Mount and will conduct clinical rotations throughout the community in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, schools and home health, Brown said.
Ferrum President David Johns said the programs address a need for skilled nurses not only nationwide, but in rural communities like Franklin County, too.
“I’m particularly excited that we’re able to offer a program coming out of a rural context,” he said.
Up to 10 students will be accepted into the program starting in January, followed by another 20 next August, Brown said.
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