Nursing program to offer P.N. to R.N. move

Kim Lindquist, Dean of Health Sciences Division

For students desiring to move from practical nurse to registered nurse, MCCC offers a new option. 

The college plans to begin a practical-nurse-to-registered-nurse completion program as early as May, pending final approval by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that went into putting this new program option together and Kimberly Lindquist, dean of the Health Sciences Division and director of nursing, gives a lot of credit to the faculty.

“As a division here, and as nurses, we recognize that there is a need for some type of pathway for academic progression—for the P.N. to pursue the R.N.,” Lindquist said. “They [the faculty] did all the leg-work, and they put it all together in a very timely manner. They worked very hard to make sure that the option is evidence-based.”

Lindquist said the option is designed to assist licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses by transitioning into the Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing program offered by MCCC. 

It has already been approved by the college’s internal review structure and by the Michigan Board of Nursing. The college is hopeful that it will receive ACEN approval by March. If the option is not approved by that time, entry into the program will be delayed until 2017.

“It’s important that people know that it’s been approved by our own curriculum committee. It’s been approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing, but as an accredited program with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, it’s important that we get their approval,” Lindquist said.

Lindquist does not anticipate issues from the ACEN, but the division won’t know with certainty until she has heard back from them.

General feedback regarding the new program option has been positive and encouraging.

“There’s a significant interest within the student body population, but in addition to that is the interest and the encouragement from our employers,” Lindquist said.

Lindquist said the idea was first introduced to the division’s advisory committee last May. She said the next day their phones started blowing up with students seeking information about when this new option would be going into effect.

The Health Sciences Division planned an information session covering application requirements and the plan of study from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, in Room 165 of the  Health Building.

Lindquist said that after meeting non-nursing prerequisite and general education requirements, accepted students can enroll in two P.N. to R.N. transition courses that will be offered during the Spring and Summer semesters.

Once completed, P.N. to R.N. students may transition into the traditional R.N. program and complete the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree the following Fall and Winter semesters.

“Essentially, once admitted, the program will take one calendar year to complete,” Lindquist said. 

For those students interested in this new program option, the first application deadline has been set for Monday, March 14 — pending final ACEN approval.

Lindquist said the college plans to accept a pilot group of about eight students to begin the first P.N. to R.N. transition course during the Spring 2016 semester, which begins in May.

Upon completion, a student will be eligible to apply for a license to practice as a registered nurse and to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLE-RN) examination.