Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College have signed a new degree completion deal for nursing students at both schools. The agreement is for four years.

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The arrangement formalizes the relationship between the associate degree in nursing program at KVCC and the bachelor’s in nursing program at WMU. It is one of many long-standing relationships between the two institutions. KVCC is WMU's largest source of transfer students, with some 500 student transferring from the college to the University each year.

Under the plan, dual-enrolled nursing students will take summer classes at WMU while earning their associate degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. After graduating from KVCC and attaining their registered nurse--R.N.--certification, students finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at WMU in just one year. The four-year time span for completion is much shorter than the traditional path for nurses.

In a release, Dr. Earlie M. Washington, dean of the WMU College of Health and Human Services said "We know that there is a shortage of prepared nurses across the state of Michigan. WMU and KVCC are working diligently to address that shortage. This plan will help produce more well-prepared nurses to meet the health care needs of West Michigan and beyond."

WMU President John Dunn said "this agreement signifies in a real way that it’s all about students and their aspirations. It's about trying to find pathways to allow students to be successful.'"

For many years, area nurses have attended KVCC, attained their R.N. certification, and joined the workforce for a number of years before going back to school for their BSN.

(Source: WMU release)