EL CAJON (CNS) - Nursing students at Grossmont College will be able to take classes at the El Cajon campus for four years and graduate with a degree from Point Loma Nazarene University under a deal the schools announced Friday.
Under the terms of the four-year agreement, students who earn their associates degree at Grossmont will be able to complete their bachelor's requirements with an additional 15 months of classes.
A state pilot program that will allow community colleges to offer four- year degrees in certain academic areas does not include nursing, according to the schools.
The Grossmont-Point Nazarene program will help address a need for further education for the region's nurses, school officials said.
Tuition for the 25 students who enter the program each semester will be $16,200, which pays for the entire 15 months of instruction and includes the cost of books, according to Grossmont College.
A university adviser will be stationed full time at Grossmont College to provide scholarship information and enrollment assistance.
"It is a wonderful opportunity for our graduates to benefit from Point Loma University's excellent nursing program," Grossmont College President Sunita "Sunny" Cooke said.
"As more and more healthcare institutions begin requiring four-year degrees from their ranks of registered nurses, it is getting tougher for students to get into university nursing programs, so this is a huge benefit for our students to be able to seamlessly transfer and quickly obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree," Cooke said.
PLNU President Bob Brower said the program will combine online courses with traditional classroom instruction.
Grossmont currently offers a four-semester nursing program that includes related science courses, and practical experience in area hospitals and health agencies. Students who complete the program can transfer to San Diego State University to complete their bachelor's degree.
By comparison, the PLNU deal will allow the students to finish out their studies at the Grossmont campus.
The position of registered nurse is regularly included in lists of high- demand jobs. According to the Campus Explorer website, around 711,000 registered nurses will be needed over the next decade, with a typical starting salary of more than $64,000.