Nursing students in North Alabama now have a way to start working in their dream jobs faster.
Calhoun Community College and the University of Alabama in Huntsville have a new nursing program partnership that offers an accelerated path for students to earn their certification to be a registered nurse and their bachelors of science in nursing.
WAAY-31 spoke with the head of the nursing program at Calhoun about what this means for prospective students.
Instead of nursing students spending up to six years working toward their RN and BSN certifications separately, under this new program students will be dual enrolled at Calhoun Community College and UAH to get both in nearly four-and-a-half years.
"This allows that highly motivated student the opportunity to achieve their goal faster," said Dr. Lynn Hogan.
Hogan is the nursing department chair at Calhoun Community College and she's excited about what this new partnership means for her students.
"So students enrolled at Calhoun in our nursing program have the opportunity to have the licensure requirement waived, that's usually required for an online or RN to BSN program," she said.
Students taking part in the program will enroll at Calhoun for four semesters, then they'll apply to Calhoun and UAH to be dual enrolled for five more semesters to get both their associates, and bachelor's degree in less time.
The classes at Calhoun are face to face and include labs and clinical studies.
The classes at UAH are online when they're getting their RN to BSN education.
Right now, school leaders are looking for the first class to have 16 students who represent the best of the best, and Hogan says this is the start of an exciting journey for both schools.
"Students choose BSN or their associate degree for various reasons but the exciting thing about this is that if a student's end goal is to get their BSN this just shortens the time for them to do that," she said.
The first class of the joint program will begin in January.