Nursing A.S. Degree

Program Advisor: Elizabeth A. Kassel, RN, MSN

Accredited by:  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League For Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), and APPROVED by the Massachusetts Board Of Registration In Nursing

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 clients' 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 and 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).

The program is approved 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), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. Phone: 404-975-5000; Fax: 404-975-5020.

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 AND 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:
    a.Explaining procedures
    b.Receiving information from others
    c.Receiving information from written documents
    d.Exhibiting appropriate interpersonal skill (refer to ANA Code for Nurses)
    e.Analyzing and documenting assessment findings and interventions
14.Distinguish color changes.
15. Detect an unsafe environment and carry out appropriate emergency procedures including:
     a. Detecting subtle environmental changes and odors including but not limited to the smell of burning electrical equipment, smoke and spills.
     b. Detect high and low frequency sounds, including but not limited to alarms, bells, and emergency signals.


Admission Requirements

Students who have met all the admissions requirements must apply by March 1st to be considered for the fall semester. Students must submit an application and a Nursing Program Matriculation form. Application review is completed by April 15 and all students are notified of decisions by mail. Accepted students may defer one time for a 1 year period. The student's overall GPA, success in science courses, number of additional required courses completed, repeats or failures in required courses on transcripts and the completion of additional college degrees are considered in the admission decision.

Specific admission requirements include:

a) reading and writing competency at a college level as shown by completion of a college English composition class (ENG 101) or through the Learning Skills Assessment;
b) completion of MAT 102 or MAT 136 or MAT 102C (Math 800 series) with a grade of C (73) or better;
c) completion of college chemistry (CHM 150) with a grade of "C" (73) or better; or one year of college prep chemistry with a grade of C (73) or better within the past seven years;
d) graduation from a high school college preparatory program within the last two years with a B (80%) average, or ranked in the upper third of the graduating class; and complete with a C or better in high school biology or anatomy and physiology; OR completion, with a C (73) or better, of a minimum of 10 credits of college-level ADN support courses including Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 201) completed within the past seven years;
e) students with two nursing course failures (elsewhere, at BCC, or in combination) will not be admitted into the program.

Students entering the Associate Degree Nursing program must be immunized for Hepatitis B (or be in the process) by March 1st prior to the academic year for which they are seeking admission.

Students must have a grade of C (73) or better in all required science and co-requisites for the associate degree in nursing (ENG 101, ENG 102, PSY 107, PSY 204, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 207, SOC 105, COM course, and a general education course). All sciences must be completed within seven years of entry into the program (BIO 201, 202 and 207). 

Career Mobility: LPN to ADN

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's) who apply to BCC's Associate Degree in Nursing program may challenge the first two nursing courses (NUR 101 and NUR 102) through a standardized theoretical tests. Applicants who pass the challenge examinations will receive 17 credits for NUR 101 and NUR 102 upon admission.

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.

Students must enroll in NUR 201 within three years of taking the challenge exams.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Apply acquired critical thinking skills to provide care that emphasizes health promotion, maintenance and wellness for a diverse group of clients across the lifespan;
  • communication effectively by maintaining a therapeutic relationship with client, family and/or significant other(s) to provide culturally-competent care;
  • practice independently and as a member of the health care team in providing and managing nursing care while incorporating state-of-the-art technologies;
  • demonstrate proficiency in the performance of entry level psychomotor skills based on best current evidence-based practice and accepted nursing standards;
  • analyze and apply professional, legal and ethical standards of nursing practice as a safe entry level nurse with a commitment to life-long learning and professional growth.
 

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete the 69 program and general education credits, plus the additional requirements, shown below.

Program 50 Credits
BIO 201 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 202 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
NUR 101 Physical and Mental Health I (see footnote 1) 9
NUR 102 Physical and Mental Health II 8
NUR 201 Physical and Mental Health III 9
NUR 202 Physical and Mental Health IV 9
NUR 206 Nursing in Transition 1
PSY 107 Introductory Psychology 3
PSY 204 Human Growth and Development 3
General Education  19 Credits
BIO 207 Microbiology 4
COM Communication (see footnote 2) 3
ENG English Composition/Writing(see footnote 3) 6
MAT Mathematics (see footnote 4)  
SOC 105 Introductory Sociology 3
General Education Elective (see footnote 5) 3
Additional As Shown*
Core Competencies Portfolio I(iems) 4
Forum (units) 4
Health/Fitness (see footnote 6) 30 hours
Minimum Cumulative Average 2.000
Minimum Numeric Grade in Each NUR Course 75
Minimum Numeric Grade in All Other Courses 73
*Service Learning Concurrent with each NUR Course  

Suggested block for program completion
The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student's individual needs.

First Semester 19 Credits
BIO 201 Anatomy and Physiology l 4
NUR 101 Physical and Mental Health l (see footnote 1) 9
PSY 107 Introductory Psychology 3
ENG English Composition/Writing (see footnote 3) 3
Second Semester 19 Credits
BIO 202 Anatomy and Physiology ll 4
BIO 207 Microbiology 4
NUR 102 Physical and Mental Health ll 8
PSY 204 Human Growth and Development 3
Summer Session  
EXL 225 Preceptor Program (optional) 1-3
NUR 106 Bridge Course - LPN to RN(for LPN's only) (see footnote 7) 2
Third Semester 15-16 Credits
NUR 201 Physical and Mental Health lll 9
COM Communication (see footnote 2) 3
SOC 105 Introductory Sociology 3
Fourth Semester 16 Credits
NUR 202 Physical and Mental Health lV 9
NUR 206 Nursing in Transition 1
ENG English Composition/Writing (see footnote 3) 3
General Education Elective (see footnote 5) 3

Footnotes:

  1. All incoming students are required to have completed CPR certificate for healthcare providers through the American Heart Association: Basic Life Support (BLS)for Health Care Providers (2-year certification) or the American Red Cross: CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers (2-year certification)prior to their first clinical experience and maintain certification through their Nursing program enrollment.
  2. COM chosen from COM 104, COM 105, COM 106, or COM 107.
  3. English Composition/Writing chosen from ENG 101, ENG 102, ENG 103, or ENG 104.
  4. Mathematics: Students must demonstrate competency at a level of MAT 102 or MAT 102C or MAT 136 or higher level prior to matriculation in the Nursing Program.
  5. General Education Elective chosen from History or Humanities and Fine Arts. If a student wishes to take a course that is not listed, she/he must first consult with the nursing program advisor.
  6. Fulfilled by successful completion of NUR 101.
  7. NUR 106, Bridge Course - LPN to RN, is a prerequisite for NUR 201 for all LPN Mobility students.
Note:
  • 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.    
Health Requirements for Associate Degree Nursing Program  
Requirements: According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 76, Section 15C, General Laws of Massachusetts) and the BCC policy:
  • Tdap/Td (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) - 1 dose Tdap to replace Td booster if not done within the last 5 years.
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) - 2 doses of  MMR> 28 days apart or documented laboratory-confirmed immunity to measles and mumps and rubella.
  • Varicella (chicken pox) - 2 doses of varicella vaccine, or serologic proof or immunity or medical proof of history of varicella disease.
  • Hepatitis B - 3 dose series  (#1 initial dose, #2: 1 month later, and #3 is given 5 months after dose #2) or a laboratory titer proof of immunity.
  • TB (tuberculosis) negative test (must be kept current throughout the program) or a negative chest x-ray within the last 5 years.
  • Please note:  An Influenza - 1 dose of TIV IM or LAIV intranasally every flu season is required when available (usually September/October), for all nursing students. 
Timeline:
Requirements must be submitted to Donna Connors in the Immunization Record Office at BCC, Room A-100, located in SBA.
  • August 1st - for all students admitted to program prior to July 1st.
  • August 31st - for students admitted to program between July 1st and August 15th
  • After August 15th 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 readmission. A student will not be allowed to participate in the clinical experience without all health requirements fully completed.