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BSC, UAB to launch joint nursing initiative

BSC, UAB to launch joint nursing initiative

For Immediate Release
Dec. 14, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Students at Birmingham-Southern College will be able to earn an undergraduate degree from BSC and an accelerated graduate nursing degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham under a new partnership between the two schools.

BSC and UAB’s School of Nursing have signed a memorandum of understanding to bridge the baccalaureate degree at BSC with the master’s degree at UAB, in which students who have completed about three and a half years of work toward their bachelor’s at BSC can begin earning a master’s in nursing from UAB.

“We are honored that UAB was eager to partner with BSC in this way,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. “This will give our students an opportunity to get a head start on their nursing careers while getting the full benefits of this personalized educational experience.”

The move allows Birmingham-Southern students a direct path to a graduate degree in nursing while exploring their other passions; they can major in a variety of subjects and experience learning hands-on through internships, travel, and service-learning, Flaherty-Goldsmith said.

“We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to BSC students whose diverse backgrounds and experiences in the liberal arts and sciences will continue to develop and grow the talent pool in nursing,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Dr. Doreen C. Harper. “And, we are proud that the first school engaged with us in this endeavor is our neighbor, Birmingham-Southern.”

According to the memorandum of understanding between the two schools, BSC seniors may begin UAB’s Accelerated Masters in Nursing Pathways program once they have completed at least 29 units, the equivalent of 116 credit hours, of their undergraduate academic coursework. For the spring term of their senior year, they will be enrolled at both BSC and UAB while they conduct their first semester of nursing coursework at UAB. At the end of that term, enough credits will be transferred back to BSC for them to graduate from Birmingham-Southern.

In recent years, such accelerated programs have become more popular in a variety of fields, but they are rarely available at small, nationally-ranked residential liberal arts colleges like Birmingham-Southern. BSC is one of the top 130 private colleges in the country and is known for its strong pre-health program; UAB is the 13th-ranked nursing school, according to the most recent U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs typically require a completed bachelor’s degree—most often in nursing—and require three years of coursework. According to Nurse Journal, MSN holders usually have better job opportunities, receive higher pay, and are more likely to take on management roles, earn a Ph.D., or go into teaching than RNs with only bachelor’s degrees.