Partnership enhances education

It’s always heartening to learn of examples of academic cooperation involving South Sound’s three homes to higher education – South Puget Sound Community College, Saint Martin’s University and The Evergreen State College.

Taken individually, they offer completely different types of educational experiences, as one would expect from a two-year community college, a private Catholic university and a progressive state college emphasizing interdisciplinary studies.

But they have the ability to take higher education to new levels when they combine forces. A shining example is a recent pact between SPSCC and Saint Martin’s University to integrate their nursing programs.

This week, the schools’ two presidents signed an agreement that allows students graduating from the community college’s registered nursing program seamless transition to Saint Martin’s new bachelor of science in nursing program.

The goal of the pact is to increase the number of nurses with a baccalaureate education in nursing to meet the needs of a health care system that is growing more complex. Accordingly, the agreement will improve the ability of nurses to provide high-quality, safe patient care.

And for the students beginning their nursing training at SPSCC, they’ll know with certainty that they have a local path forward, if they choose to further their training in pursuit of a four-year degree.

Saint Martin’s University just welcomed eight students to the inaugural class of the new RN-to-BSN program. Having this agreement in place with SPSCC provides the university nursing program with some enrollment certainty that will allow it to grow and mature as it seeks accredidation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

South Puget Sound’s nursing students will be invited to apply for dual admission at the end of the second quarter in the SPSCC nursing program. If accepted, they will receive academic advice from Saint Martin’s to maximize their chances of completing the RN program and passing the registered nurse licensing exam, which will pave the way to admission to the RN-to-BSN program at Saint Martin’s.

It’s another great example of our colleges and university working together to enhance academic opportunity and careers for higher education students in the South Sound area.