A common list of required courses acceptable to both signatory NCICU campuses and the North Carolina community college system would facilitate the educational pathway for RNs who have earned associate degrees in nursing in North Carolina and wish to complete undergraduate nursing degrees through North Carolina independent college and university RN to BSN programs.
This document presents a uniform academic progression agreement that will promote educational advancement opportunities for registered nurses moving between North Carolina community colleges and the signatory NCICU campuses in order to complete BSN degrees. It describes a progression degree plan that includes required general education and nursing prerequisite courses that are acceptable to all signatory RN to BSN programs. Students who follow the progression degree plan will meet the entrance requirements at all signatory NCICU RN to BSN programs. Nurses may then apply to any of these programs without taking additional and sometimes duplicative courses. This enables students to plan with confidence that their block of courses will both transfer as intended and satisfy requirements of signatory NCICU campuses.
This proposal supports the mission of the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges and reduces barriers that currently exist for associate degree prepared nurses who wish to earn baccalaureate degrees by creating a more seamless and rational transfer process for community college nursing students. This coordinated approach should increase RN to BSN graduation and retention rates for Registered Nurses who enroll in signatory NCICU RN to BSN programs.
This proposal also serves state workforce needs as described in the 2010 Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health and in the 2013 North Carolina Chief Nursing Officer Survey completed by the North Carolina Future of Nursing Action Coalition. According to the coalition, increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate or higher degree to 80% by 2025 should:
The Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Articulation Agreement (RN to BSN AA) is made between the State Board of the North Carolina Community College System and the NCICU campuses signing the agreement (signatory institutions).
The RN to BSN AA applies to all community college nursing students who successfully complete an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in nursing at those community colleges on or after the effective date of this agreement. The RN to BSN Transfer Committee (RNBSNTC) oversees refinements of and changes in the regulations.
Authority to interpret and make changes in the RN to BSN AA rests with the RNBSNTC. The RNBSNTC is an eight-member co-chaired committee appointed by the Presidents of the North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. Questions concerning the RN to BSN AA should be directed to the committee with an explanation of the institutional policy that may (appear to) be in conflict with RN to BSN AA policy.
If an RN to BSN student perceives that the terms of the RNBSNTC have not been honored, he or ~he may follow the RN to BSN Transfer Credit Appeal Process as outlined in Appendix D. Each signatory NCICU campus and community college nursing program covered by this agreement will provide a link to that Appeal Process on its web site.
The RN to BSN AA establishes the procedures governing the transfer of credits for students who graduate from North Carolina Community College AAS programs and apply to RN to BSN programs at signatory NCICU campuses. The RN to BSN AA does not address admission to a specific institution or an RN to BSN program within an institution, nor does it address the transfer of credits for students completing their RN programs prior to the effective date of the agreement.
The RN to BSN AA takes precedence over bilateral articulation agreements established between signatory NCICU campuses and the North Carolina Community College System but does not necessarily preclude such agreements. Institution-to-institution articulation agreements that fall within the parameters of the RN to BSN AA and enhance transferability of students from community colleges to senior institutions are acceptable. Institutional agreements conflicting with the RN to BSN AA are not permitted.
Guiding Principle: If a student from a North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) college believes the terms of the RN to BSN AA have not been honored by a participating NCICU campus, the student may invoke the RN to BSN AA Transfer Credit Appeal Procedure.
Note: Individual nursing programs may require a maximum of two courses or six credits to meet school specific degree requirements that are not a part of the RN to BSN AA. In no case, will these additional requirements necessitate completing more than 128 credits in order to earn a BSN Each participating NCICU RN to BSN campus will develop, publish, and maintain on their website a RN to BSN degree plan that identifies specific degree requirements that are not part of the RN to BSN AA.