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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, skills 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
cmartin@berkshirecc.edu
413-236-4638

Program Accreditation

Accredited by: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League For Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) with continuing accreditation.

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

BCC has decided to take a one year hiatus and will be opening the admission process to new students for fall 2020. This decision does not impact LPN Mobility Students for fall 2019.

  • ADN Update Sessions

    Please head to www.berkshirecc.edu/nursinginfo to sign up for an early admissions information session.

  • Essential Functions

    Students in this program must be able to:

    • Demonstrate the ability to perform essential functions for a maximum of a 12-hour shift;
    • Demonstrate the ability to protect a patient when thepatient is standing and ambulating on all surfaces with or without the use of assistive devices, including canes, crutches and walkers;
    • Demonstrate the ability to safely move a patient over 100 pounds from one surface to another using the appropriate level of help;
    • 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);
    • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate dials on equipment;
    • Demonstrate the ability to coordinate simultaneous motions;
    • Demonstrate the ability to perform occasional overhead extension;
    • Demonstrate the ability to hear blood pressure, heart and lung sounds with or without corrective devices;
    • Demonstrate the ability to palpate soft tissue including pulse, muscle and bones;
    • Demonstrate the ability to perform nursing interventions: sterile procedures, dressing changes and when necessary follow infection control procedures, administer medications (including dosage calculations);
    • Display adaptability to change;
    • Establish effective relationships with others;
    • 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;
    • Distinguish color changes; and 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.
  • General Admission Requirements
    • Math
      ACCUPLACER Next Generation QAS score of 262 or greater OR successful completion of MAT 029, MAT 029C, or MAT 136 or higher (with a minimum grade of C). (MAT-123 Statistics recommended for transfer);
    • English
      Readiness to take ENG-101 as demonstrated through the Accuplacer or completion of a college-level composition course (ENG-101) with a grade of C (73) or better;
    • Chemistry
      Completion of college chemistry (CHM-150 or CHM-101), prior to January 2018, 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; Students completing college chemistry (CHM-150 or CHM-101), but after January 2018, require a grade of C+ (77) or better.
    • Support Courses
      Completing a minimum of 10 credits of college-level ADN support courses.
    • 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 in these courses to be eligible for admission to the ADN program. Courses taken prior to January 1, 2018 require a C (73 or better). These four science courses, (BIO-201, BIO-202, BIO-207 and CHM), must be completed within seven years of entry into the program. Any waivers to this provision require direct approval from the Director of Nursing (contact Admissions Office to begin waiver process).
    • Attend a Mandatory Nursing Information Session. Register online at www.berkshirecc.edu/nursinginfo

    Students who have met all the general admissions requirements must apply by June 1 to be considered for the fall semester. Students must submit an application to the College and a Nursing Program Matriculation form. All students are notified of admission decisions by general postal mail. Accepted students may defer one time for a one year period. Admissions into the nursing program are based on space availability and follow a competitive process.

  • Determining Acceptance to the ADN Program

    Each spring, a maximum of 56 students are conditionally admitted to the program. A Selective Admission Rubric is used, following non-discriminatory practice, for admission into the ADN program The rubric does not contain any identifying student characteristics besides the student BCC ID number. Applicants with the highest scores are accepted in rank order.

    The following components are the basis of ranking:

    1. Program GPA – Students are awarded points for GPA to the hundredth decimal point (e.g., GPA of 3.14 = 3.14 points, GPA of 3.27 = 3.27 points). The GPA is calculated only on courses required for the program.
    2. Science courses and general education course according to the Selective Admissions Rubric.
    3. Completion of a minimum of 10 credits of college-level ADN support courses (science and general education courses) prior to submitting the ADN matriculation form. Science (A&P I and II, Microbiology, and Chemistry) must be completed within seven years of admittance to the program.
    4. Number of required program courses are reflected in the overall score relative to the number of courses.
    5. Other degrees: A student who possesses a(n) Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and/or Doctorate will be awarded a maximum of one point, regardless of the number of degrees held.
    Space Available List

    If a top-ranked student, offered admission into the program, decides to defer or decline admission, an alternate list (Space Available List), of the second tier of qualified students, is developed. Individuals on the Space Available List will be identified only by their BCC ID. To remain eligible, individuals on the Space Available List must continue to meet all eligibility requirements up until August 1st of the starting semester, at which time individuals on the space available list may be notified of their admission to the program. If not admitted, those students on the Space Available List must reapply to the program each year. Individuals on the list must ensure that their contact information is accurate and up-to-date at all times. Individuals, from the Space Available List, offered admission, will have up to three business days to respond to the offer.

    BCC will not admit students concurrently into any two of the following degree or certificate programs:

    • Physical Therapist Assistant
    • Respiratory Care
    • Practical Nursing Certificate, or Associate degree.
  • Mandatory Health Requirements - Immunization 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. OR

    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 (titer)*
    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 evidence of immunity (titer)*
    Varicella
    Medical proof of disease. OR Laboratory evidence of immunity (titer)*
    Tb

    (must be kept current throughout the program)

    Tuberculosis negative test within the year. OR Negative chest x-ray within the last five years.
    Flu Shot
    Flu shot or declination form submitted by date in fall to be announced.
    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 and allied health students must comply with the immunization requirements of their clinical site. 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.

    (BCC Immunization policy developed according to MDPH Immunization Program 2018-2019 School Year and clinical agency contractual requirements)

    Waiver

    If a student is unable to receive an immunization due to medical reasons, they must discuss a medical waiver with the Director of Nursing and provide a doctor’s notice. If a medical waiver is granted, documentation from the student’s physician must be filed in the Immunization and Medical Records Office. It is also highly recommended that these students have blood testing done to show possible immunity. The medical declinations must be renewed on the appropriate forms annually. If a student cannot complete clinical, then he/she cannot complete the course.

    Drug Screening

    Please be advised that students enrolled in certain programs which require clinical or fieldwork study may be required by the placement affiliate agency to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible. Students who either fail to pass, or refuse to submit to a drug screening analysis will be deemed ineligible for clinical placement, which may affect their status in the program.

    Verification of Student Health History and Physical Exam

    In addition to the Mandatory Immunization Requirements ALL students enrolled in any nursing or allied health program are required to have Verification of Student Health History and Physical Exam report completed by their health care provider by the beginning of classes.

    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.

    Submit requirements to:

    Donna Connors
    Immunization Records Office
    Room A-118 located in the Susan B. Anthony building.
    Berkshire Community College Main Campus

    Telephone: 413-236-1614
    Fax: 413-499-4576

Finishing Strong—What to Expect

  • 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 (NOFNCC). The course student learning outcomes are designed to determine student achievement of specific NOFNCC competencies at each course level and by the end of the program. By the end of the Associate Degree nursing program, graduates are able to:

    • Provide 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 (Patient-Centered Care);
    • Demonstrate accountability for the delivery of standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles (Professionalism);
    • Influence 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 (Leadership);
    • Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the health care system, and will demonstrate the ability to effectively call on work unit resources to provide care that is of optimal quality and value (Systems-Based Practice);
    • Use advanced technology and to analyze as well as synthesize information and collaborate in order to make critical decisions that optimize patient outcomes (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, 2015) (Informatics and Technology);
    • Interact effectively with patients, families, and colleagues, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making, to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes (Communication);
    • Function effectively within nursing and interdisciplinary teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, shared decision-making, team learning and development (QSEN, 2007) (Teamwork and Collaboration);
    • Minimize risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance (QSEN, 2007) (Safety);
    • Use 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 (Quality Improvement); and
    • Identify, evaluate, and use the best current evidence coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of patients’ preferences, experience and values to make practice decisions (QSEN, 2007) (Evidence-Based Practice).
  • Program Outcomes
    • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 2018 – 84%
    • Program Completion Rate at 150% of Usual Time:
      • Traditional Students: 2015 Cohort – 67%
      • Bridge Students (LPN to ADN): 2017 Cohort – 67%
    • Job Placement Rate: 2017 grads – 93%

Program Completion Requirements

Educational Mobility: LPN to ADN

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who apply to BCC’s Associate in Science degree in Nursing program may challenge the first two nursing courses (NUR-101 and NUR-102) through a standardized theoretical test. 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 through successful completion of the National Certification Licensing Exam (NCLEX) as a condition for provisional admission by August 10th of the admitting year. Students must enroll in NUR-201 within one year of taking the challenge exam. Enrollment requires the completion of a “bridge” course (NUR-106) during the summer prior to admission.

At a minimum, five (5) seats are reserved for student who declare intention to transit to LPN/ADN mobility pathway and have met all ADN admission requirements, attended the nursing information session and completed the LPN/ADN matriculation form.

Please head to www.berkshirecc.edu/nursinginfo to sign up for the Educational Mobility: LPN to ADN information session.

Policies, Notices and Disclosures:

Admission Policy

Admissions Rubric

Advanced Placement Policy

Attendance Policy

Course Exemption Policy

CPR Policy

Educational Mobility Policy

Graduation Policy

Health & Immunization Policy

Progression Policy

Readmission Policy

Student Rights & Grievances Policy

Transfer Policy

Withdrawal Policy

  • 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.
  • 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 102Cor 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.

    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. All nursing faculty hold, as a minimum, professional Registered Nurse licensure in Massachusetts.

    CORI

    Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies. See Criminal & Sex Offender Record Information Checks. 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.