The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders renewed its support for the efforts of Union County College to award a Bachelor of Nursing degree. As a two-year community college, Union County College requires approval from the State Department of Education to offer the four-year degree.
"This new four-year program would provide more Union County residents with the opportunity to advance professionally in a high demand field, and it would benefit to the community at large by helping to relieve the ongoing nursing shortage," said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. "Union County College has established a solid record of success with an outstanding two-year Associate's degree, and the Freeholder Board strongly supports extending this experience to four-year degrees."
The new degree program would enable Union County College to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing for students who have completed an Associate Degree or who hold a qualifying diploma in an accredited nursing program, and who have passed the examination to be a Registered Nurse.
The course work would include physical assessment, community health, global and population based health, nursing research and evidence-based practices, advanced pathophysiology, informatics and technology, ethical issues and leadership and management courses.
Approval for the new four-year program is contingent upon the determination of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, which takes into account the recommendations of the New Jersey President's Council.
Earlier in January, Bergen announced support for the four-year degree as part of his 2016 Chairman's Initiatives. The Freeholder Board also adopted a formal Resolution in support of a positive outcome from the President's Council. However, last week the President's Council voted in favor of negative recommendations by a slim 19-18 margin, with several abstentions.
"We are hoping that this narrow decision provides the Secretary of Higher Education with an indication that the issue deserves a more thorough investigation before a final decision is made," said Bergen.