Nursing A.S. Degree

Nursing combines science and the art of working with people. Nurses are integrally involved in the lives of their clients, helping them to maximize their health and cope with illness. Nurses perform multiple roles in the care of their clients. Not only do they provide hands-on care, they also act as educators, counselors, coordinators and conciliators. Using scientific knowledge and technical skills, nurses continually assess the physical, emotional and social status of their clients. Nurses work with clients and their families to devise plans of care for each situation. As they continually monitor client progress, they make important decisions about appropriate methods to deal with problems.

Nursing offers diversity in roles and settings, a wide range of career paths, employment opportunities and competitive salaries. People are attracted to nursing by the focus on caring, flexibility of working schedules and challenges to excel within the profession. RNs are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, home care, clinics, health centers, physicians’ offices and the military. BCC’s nursing program is a sequence of lecture, laboratory and clinical courses. Graduates are eligible to take the licensing examination to become registered nurses (RNs).

Get in Touch

Christine Martin, RN, MSN
Interim Director of Nursing

Program Accreditation

Accredited by: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League For Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).  Continuing Accreditation for Good Cause

Approved by: The Massachusetts Board Of Registration In Nursing:  Approval with Warning

Program Admission Requirements

To apply for the program

BCC Admissions must receive all completed application forms beginning March 1 and no later than June 1.  Admissions will review all completed forms and students will be notified of decisions by mail. Accepted students may defer one time for a 1 year period.

Students who are currently working to fulfill prerequisites for the ADN program should contact Academic Advising at 413-236-1620 to discuss how these changes will impact their enrollment.

Apply on Time

Students who have met all the admissions requirements must complete an ADN Matriculation Form by June 1 to be considered for the fall semester.

Changes to the ADN program are effective January 1, 2018.

The ADN Student Handbook contains important policies and program information for nursing students.  Applicants are encouraged to review the handbook to become familiar with program requirements.

  • Specific Admission Requirements

    * indicates BCC course designations

    • English — Readiness to take ENG-101 as demonstrated through the Accuplacer assessment OR completion of a college-level composition course (ENG-101*) with a grade of C (73) or better;
    • Math High school graduate within the past two years with a GPA of at least 2.7 and a minimum grade of B (80) in Algebra II or Accuplacer placement into college-level math or successful completion of the Mathematics Challenge Assessment or completion of a college-level math class with a minimum grade of C (MAT-123* Statistics recommended for transfer);

      Students who have not completed BIO-201, BIO-202, BIO-207 and/or CHM-150 or CHM-101 prior to January 1, 2018 will be required to earn a grade of C+ (77) or better to be eligible to apply for admission to the ADN program.

        • Chemistry — Completion of college chemistry (CHM-150* or CHM-101*) with a grade of C (73) or better or one year of high school college preparatory chemistry with a grade of C (73) or better, completed within the last seven years;
        • Support Courses —Complete with a C (73) or better a minimum of 10 credits of college-level ADN support courses including Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO-201*). Anatomy & Physiology I must be completed within seven years of submitting this form.
    • Attend a mandatory Pre-Nursing Information Session Register online. Information sessions are scheduled as follows: (choose one)

        • November 8, 2017, 3–4 pm
        • January 30, 2018, 6–7 pm
        • February 10, 2018, 9–10 am
        • March 1, 2018, 8:30–9:30 am
        • March 31, 2018, 9–10 am
        • May 31, 2018, 10–11 am

    Important Notices

    Acceptance into the ADN program is competitive and while published minimum standards may have been met, it does not guarantee admission. The College reserves the right to make changes at any time with respect to course offerings, degree requirements, services provided, cost of attendance, or any other subject.

    Students who have met all ADN admission requirements by June 1 will be considered for admission. Admission decisions are made in mid-June for the fall semester and students are notified of their acceptance by mail. Students with two nursing course failures (elsewhere, at BCC, or in combination) will not be admitted to the program.

    The following criteria are considered in the admissions process: The number of required science courses completed and grades received; the number of ADN program and general education courses completed and grades received; ADN program prerequisite and corequisite GPA; and completion of additional college degrees. All students applying for admission must begin the HepB immunization series by March 1 to meet health requirements, but they are strongly encouraged to begin by January 1. The supporting science courses and chemistry may only be repeated once.

    Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies. See CORI/SORI Requirements in the current BCC catalog for details.

    BCC will not admit students concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs: Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Care, Practical Nursing or Associate Degree Nursing.

    Students who are currently working to fullfill prerequites for the ADN program should contact Academic Advising at 413-236-1620 to discuss how these changes will impact their enrollment.

  • Mandatory Program Health Requirements

    Requirements: According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 76, Section 15C, General Laws of Massachusetts) and the BCC policy:


    • Hepatitis B
      Recommended Immunization for Hepatitis B: 3 doses of the Engerix-B or Recombivax--HB formulations of the hepatitis B vaccine on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule, OR 2 doses of the Heplisav-B formulation on a 0 and 1 month schedule.
      Test for hepatitis B surface antibody* (anti-HBs) 1–2 months after the final dose in the series to document immunity. (Obtain a titer to document immunity.)* Those without immunity (anti-HBs <10 mIU/mL) should receive one or more additional doses of HepB vaccine and retesting.

      Required Immunization Process for Hepatitis B**:
      3 doses of hepatitis B vaccination OR
      Laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable.*

      Other Required Immunizations:

    • Tdap: 1 dose; and history of a DTaP primary series or age appropriate catch-up vaccination. Tdap given at ≥7 years may be counted, but a dose at age 11-12 is recommended if Tdap was given earlier as part of a catch- up schedule. Td should be given if it has been ≥10 years since Tdap.


    • MMR: 2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and the 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1
      OR laboratory titer proof of immunity*

    • Varicella: Medical proof of disease OR laboratory evidence of immunity *


    • Tb: Tuberculosis negative test within the year OR a negative chest x-ray within the last five years (Must be kept current throughout the program)


    • Influenza — 1 dose of TIV IM or LAIV intranasally every flu season is required when available (usually September/October), for all nursing students.


    • Meningococcal: 1 dose; 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Doses received at younger ages do not count towards this requirement. Students may decline MenACWY vaccine after they have read and signed the MDPH Meningococcal Information and Waiver Form provided by their institution. Meningococcal B vaccine is not required and does not meet this requirement.

      *Antibody blood tests (titers) must include laboratory report as proof of immunity.

      **Nursing students must comply with the immunization requirements of their clinical site. For example, if a clinical site requires a positive hepatitis B titer result but allows a waiver, students must either document immunity or submit the required waiver form.


    Requirements must be submitted to Donna Connors in the Immunization Record Office at BCC, Room A-100, located in SBA.

    • August 1 — for all students admitted to program prior to July 1st.
    • August 31 — for students admitted to program between July 1st and August 15th
    • After August 15 admittance — please see the Director of Nursing for assistance in meeting this requirement in sufficient time to attend clinical experiences.

    Consequences of failure to comply

    Students who do not meet all health requirements by the required dates will be removed from the program and will need to apply for re-admission. A student will not be allowed to participate in the clinical experience without all health requirements fully completed.

Finishing Strong—What to Expect

  • Essential Functions

    Berkshire Community College seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. Therefore, to the extent practicable, the College will endeavor to make a reasonable academic adjustment for an applicant with a disability who is otherwise qualified. The Essential Functions of a student enrolled in the ADN Program requires that the student, with or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to:

    1. Demonstrate the ability to perform essential functions for a maximum of an 8-hour shift.

    2. Demonstrate the ability to protect a patient when the patient is standing and ambulating on all surfaces with or without the use of assistive devices, including canes, crutches and walkers.
    3. Demonstrate the ability to safely move a patient over 100 pounds from one surface to another using the appropriate level of help.
    4. Demonstrate safe body mechanics in the process of all patient treatments, including lifting and carrying small equipment (under 50 pounds) and moving large equipment (over 50 pounds).
    5. Demonstrate the ability to manipulate dials on equipment.
    6. Demonstrate the ability to coordinate simultaneous motions.
    7. Demonstrate the ability to perform occasional overhead extension.
    8. Demonstrate the ability to hear blood pressure, heart and lung sounds with or without corrective devices.
    9. Demonstrate the ability to palpate soft tissue including pulse, muscle and bones.
    10. Demonstrate the ability to perform nursing interventions such as sterile procedures, dressing changes and administer medications (including dosage calculations when necessary) following infection control procedures.
    11. Display adaptability to change.
    12. Establish effective relationships with others.
    13. Communicate effectively, safely and efficiently in English by:
      • Explaining procedures
      • Receiving information from others
      • Receiving information from written documents
      • Exhibiting appropriate interpersonal skill (refer to ANA Code for Nurses)
      • Analyzing and documenting assessment findings and interventions
    14. Distinguish color changes.
    15. Detect an unsafe environment and carry out appropriate emergency procedures including: Detecting subtle environmental changes and odors including but not limited to the smell of burning electrical equipment, smoke and spills. Detect high and low frequency sounds, including but not limited to alarms, bells, and emergency signals.
  • End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes

    End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes

    The expected outcomes for the BCC ADN nursing program are tied to the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies (NOF). The course student learning outcomes are designed to determine student mastery of specific NOF competencies at each course level and correspond to the recommended blueprint for National Council Licensure Examination (RN-NCLEX) learning competencies. Students are considered to have achieved the end-of-pro- gram learning outcome upon completion of the program.

    At the end of Associate Degree nursing program, graduates are be able to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate Nurse of the Future nursing core concepts of:

    • Patient centered care by providing holistic care that recognizes an individual’s preferences, values and needs and respects the patient or designee as a full partner in providing compassionate, coordinated, age and culturally appropriate, safe and effective care;
    • Professionalism by demonstrating accountability for the delivery of standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles;
    • Leadership by influencing the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals within their environment in a way that will facilitate the establishment and acquisition/achievement of shared goals;
    • Systems based practice by demonstrating an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the health care system, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively call on microsystem resources to provide care that is of optimal quality and value; Informatics and technology by using information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making (QSEN, 2007);
    • Informatics and technology by using information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making (QSEN, 2007);
    • Communication by interacting effectively with patients, families, and colleagues, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making, to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes;
    • Team work and collaboration by functioning effectively within nursing and interdisciplinary teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, shared decision-making, team learning and development QSEN, 2007);
    • Safety by minimizing risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance (QSEN, 2007);
    • Quality Improvement by using data to monitor the outcomes of care processes, and uses improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems; and
    • Evidence based practice by identifying, evaluating, and using the best current evidence coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of patients’ preferences, experience and values to make practice decisions (QSEN, 2007).

    Don't take our word for it...

    Below you can get a glimpse of the graduates' success on the licensure and/or certification examination, students’ completion of the nursing program, and graduates obtaining a job, as well as additional student achievement data.

    Above Average Licensure Rates

    BCC has consistently reported above the national average for graduate success rate on the licensure exam.

    Graduate on Time

    75% of students entering the first nursing course of the ADN program will graduate within 3 years and LPN-RN students entering the third semester will complete within 2 years.

    Program Outcomes

Program Completion Requirements

Career Mobility: LPN to ADN

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who apply to BCC's Associate Degree in Nursing program may challenge the first two nursing courses (NUR 101 and NUR 102) through standardized theoretical tests. Applicants who pass the challenge examinations will receive 17 credits for NUR 101 and NUR 102 upon admission. Challenge exams are offered on two days in October and two days in March. Contact the Nursing Program in September to schedule the October exam, and in February to schedule the March exam.

In addition to meeting all other nursing admission standards, applicants must have licensure as a practical nurse in the state of Massachusetts through successful completion of the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) prior to admission.

Steps for Applying:
Career Mobility: LPN to ADN

Notices and disclosures:

  • All nursing faculty hold, as a minimum, professional Registered Nurse licensure in Massachusetts.
  • In the event that an applicant has ever been convicted by a court of law, or is convicted during his or her tenure in the Nursing program, she/he should be aware that she/he may be denied the right by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) which leads to RN licensure upon graduation.
  • Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies. See Criminal Offender Record Information Checks for details.

The program is approved with warning by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) formerly National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Continuing Accreditation for Good Cause, 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Phone: 404-975-5000; Fax: 404-975-5020.