LONGMEADOW — The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) voted in its October 2017 meeting to grant full accreditation through December 31, 2022 to the American Women’s College at Bay Path University’s RN to BSN Completer Program.
This program allows for licensed, registered nurses with an associate or diploma degree to return to college to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Bay Path’s program is fully online, allowing students to enroll and participate from across the country, and the accelerated format means that, for most students, the degree can be achieved in 18 months.
“The national challenge for 80% of nurses to be BSN-prepared by 2020 indicated to us a great need for a flexible, affordable solution for registered nurses whose lives are already so full, between caring for others at work and, on top of that, having families, hobbies, and other personal responsibilities,” said Amanda Gould, chief administrative officer for the American Women’s College at Bay Path University. “Our accelerated, 100%-online program gives them an opportunity to take their education to the next level on their terms, around their own rigorous schedules, so they come out after just 18 months ready to elevate their careers.”
The first cohort of 22 BSN students graduated in May. They were honored with a pinning ceremony, a tradition that has been considered a rite of passage in the nursing field since 1916 when it became common practice for all nursing graduates to be presented with a pin symbolizing their educational accomplishments.
“We are proud to be recognized by CCNE with full accreditation for the RN to BSN Completer Program,” said Marjorie Bessette, RN, MSN, director of the Nursing program. “The collective commitment to quality education demonstrated each day by our faculty, staff, and community partners to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to be outstanding nurses is at the heart of our work, and our program status reflects that.”
The American Women’s College at Bay Path University maintains partnerships with Baystate Health and Mercy Medical Center to work together to increase the number of nurse practitioners with BSN degrees.
“As a nurse, I want to give the best possible care that I can to patients. It’s my job to save lives. Completing my BSN has ensured that I can do just that,” said Laura Mazur, a nurse at Baystate Medical Center who graduated from Bay Path’s program this spring. “I used to think of myself as an in-class learner, but as a floor nurse working the midnight shift, I simply didn’t have the time to spend in a classroom. The online program through the American Women’s College fit well into my life.”