BCC's Nursing Program Restored to Full Approval
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's Associate Degree in Nursing program is once again in full compliance with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requirements and will start accepting students again in the fall of 2020.
This news was announced at the Board of Registration in Nursing's Dec. 11 board meeting. A site survey was completed by board designees in October 2019 and the positive results of that visit were shared this week. In that site survey, board personnel reviewed documentation, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the facilities, and carefully examined both current data and plans for future data collection.
The college's Practical Nursing program (PN) also underwent a scheduled 10-year site visit this fall, which reviewed the certificate program. This program continues to be fully compliant with MABORN requirements.
"This was a campus-wide effort to meet the needs of our community. We are very proud that our collective efforts and focus resulted in the full reinstatement of the ADN program," BCC President Ellen Kennedy said in a statement. "Berkshire Community College has been offering nursing education for over 50 years and we will continue to provide high quality nursing education that leads to employment and meets the needs of health care providers."
The nursing program addressed the board's concerns about student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination. Students in the last academic year exceeded the minimum pass rate set by MABORN. In addition, the faculty and staff demonstrated a fully implemented evaluation plan that keeps student success and continuous improvement as cornerstones of the program.
"The NCLEX exams determine if a new nursing graduate has the knowledge, skills and abilities to deliver safe, effective nursing care," Jennifer Berne, vice president of Academic Affairs at the college, said in a statement. "Our excellent nursing faculty, staff and health-care partners have worked diligently to adjust the BCC nursing program to the new standards of professionalism demanded of all future nurses. Improved examination results are an important result of this work.”
BCC received official word in April 2019 that the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing had restored continuing accreditation to the ADN program through 2023. In its notification to the college, ACEN acknowledged that deliberations on their change in status centered on the materials that were submitted to the board following the visit by the peer accreditation team.
Also in mid-April, BCC announced that it would voluntarily and temporarily suspend admission to the first year of its ADN program for fall 2019. It did so in order for the program to fully focus on the recommendations of the commission. Now that accreditation has been restored, the college will accept 56 students into the fall 2020 ADN program.
"Starting again in fall 2020, we will offer the full two-year experience for our ADN students," Lori Moon, interim dean of Nursing at the college, said in a statement. "The entire nursing department is excited and empowered to deliver high quality educational opportunities to help ensure the need for nurses in the area are met by our amazing nursing graduates."
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