Nursing program taking applications for bachelor program

Students in the nursing program participate in a recent health fair. The program soon will begin offering a bachelor's degree, with the first class expected to start in fall 2021.

First class set to begin in fall

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is now accepting applications.

Del Mar’s first bachelor program is a post-licensure track, meaning the students are already practicing nurses. The RN to BSN program expands on areas such as nursing informatics, community nursing, beginning research, and leadership and management.

The first cohort begins in fall 2021 and will graduate in summer 2022. The cohort will have 30 students with plans for the number to increase annually.

The preparation for the BSN began years ago when faculty began attaining higher levels of education so they could teach the program.

To start the RN to BSN program track, the nursing program had to first obtain support from the Advisory Committee. They then had to obtain support from the DMC Curriculum Committee to purse the program track. Lastly, they submitted a proposal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The program is working on the narrative that is required for program accreditation.

Del Mar College President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Escamilla said the program was the result of many years of preparation by faculty and staff.

“It elevates an already stellar nursing program to the next level,” Escamilla said. “The advanced nursing education our graduates receive will ripple throughout the community for generations to come as they deliver health care that is second to none. This is perhaps more important now than ever in light of a general nursing shortage and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community and the world.” 

According to Jennifer McWha, Department of Nurse Education program director, the driving force behind the decision to start this program has always been the students.

“The goal is to help them achieve further education,” McWha said.

The program is primarily online but there will be times when students are required to go onto campus.

“One lab requires a lab component and students will attend campus labs at designated times,” McWha said. “There are two clinical courses and students will engage in various activities within the community or health care setting.”

Because the program is mostly online there will only be one additional faculty member hired the first year of the program. There are plans to add more faculty in years three and five of the program as the cohort numbers grow.

Previous Del Mar students who earned their Associate Degree in Nursing are glad to hear Del Mar is offering a BSN.

Stephanie Martinez, a 2020 Del Mar graduate, plans on beginning the BSN program next fall.

“I have received my ADN with Del Mar College,” Martinez said. “I plan on taking two prerequisite courses Summer 1 and Summer 2, that I need to hopefully begin the BSN program.”

Martinez said she chose Del Mar to get her nursing degree because she was able to stay close to family and it made earning her degree easier.

“I was actually very excited to hear Del Mar would be offering the BSN because aside from lower costs I feel that being familiar with faculty will make a big difference in my learning experience,” Martinez said.

The application period is open through April 30.

Students can visit https://www.delmar.edu/bsn/program.html for a full list of application guidelines.

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