Delta Community College and NSU teaming up to expand the community college's nursing program

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Delta Community College and Northwestern State are teaming up to create an easier route to a Bachelor’s Degree for Delta nursing students. Both colleges signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday morning agreeing to work together online.

Students who graduate from the nursing program at Delta Community College can apply their Associate degree credits to NSU’s online Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. "They start a plan, and they can begin to set up the plan for some of their coursework while they're finishing up the nursing program here,” says Dr. Dana Clawson, NSU’s Dean. “A lot of people already do that, so it's that seamless."

Brittany Vincent is a senior in the Nursing Program and says she can’t wait to start her Bachelor’s degree. "Yea the whole time they were talking I was already interested like sign me up," Vincent says doing the program online makes everything easier. "I have a son, and I also have a boyfriend, so it’s really awesome to be able to go to school online and still have a family."

The Nursing program director for Delta Community College says this joint effort might get more nursing students to complete their Bachelor’s degree. "With there being a nursing shortage, we need more nurses in the leadership role,” says Sherita Williams, Director of Nursing at Delta Community College.

Williams says that the associate’s degree prepares students to become bedside nurses, but that a Bachelor’s degree will let them take on more responsibilities. "So they know the frustration of being on the floor, they know the time management piece,” says Williams, “so having that person as your charge nurse or a person in management makes you feel more comfortable working with them."

The program could even keep students here locally since their program will let students take classes and do their clinical wherever they live. "Being able to pursue your bachelor's degree with that seamless transition and also still be able to work, I think that will enable our students to stay in our area," says Williams.

For some nursing students, they’re already setting their sights to come back and teach here in Monroe. "I've wanted to be a nurse all my life, so I'm fulfilling my dream, and I'd like to get my bachelors and then my masters and come back to Delta and teach OB,” says Kathy McGuffee.