Del Tech unveils plans to offer bachelor's degree in nursing
Delaware Technical & Community College unveiled plans to introduce a bachelor’s degree in nursing Tuesday.
School president Mark Brainard made the announcement at a state budget hearing with the Joint Finance Committee.
He’s looking to propose the new nursing program to his board of trustees in April. If approved, the school would start enrolling bachelor’s students in 2017.
Right now, Del Tech only offers two-year associate's degrees in nursing, and launching a bachelor's program would be an unusual move for a community college. But Brainard says the state of nursing field calls for something different.
“Really, the field is changing to the degree that we felt as we had to explore options for our graduates and consider this BSN credential,” said Brainard.
Brainard adds that local hospitals including Nemours A.I Dupont Hospital for Children and Christiana have gotten Magnet status in the last few years. That means 80 percent of their nurses will need a bachelor's degree in the field.
That combined with the shortage of nurses in the state Del Tech felt obligated to help fill the gap.
“This was a move that’s in the best interest of our students and as important [are] the workforce needs in local business and industry, specifically the healthcare sector,” said Brainard.
If approved, students will be able to enroll in the program at all three campuses and the bachelor's degree plan would also include a pathway to bring in students from the associate’s degree track.
The number of nursing students at DelTech has more than doubled in the last 15 years. And last summer, the community college opened a high-tech, 20,000 square foot nursing wing at its Stanton campus.
About 40 percent of Del Tech graduates work in the healthcare industry.