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Southern, Baton Rouge Community College partner to educate more nurses amid national shortage

On Tuesday, officials from Southern University and A&M College and Baton Rouge Community College signed an affiliation agreement between the respective nursing and allied health programs of both institutions. The partnership will allow graduates of BRCC’s registered nurse program to continue their education online toward earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). The 2+2 program is designed for RNs to continue practicing in the medical field while pursuing their BSN.

“Over these last two years, COVID underscored the continuous need for well-prepared and credentialed nursing professionals,” said Ray L. Belton, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University and A&M College. “I am proud to say that Southern and Baton Rouge Community College are providing another accessible pathway for those professionals to be educated and primed to address the healthcare needs of the people in our communities.”

The RN to BSN model will allow BRCC students who have completed their first two years of study and graduated with their Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree to seamlessly transfer credit hours to Southern for completion of the online BSN degree program. This agreement also offers an option for students to begin taking their required remaining classes through concurrent enrollment, allowing students to complete online classes with Southern while completing their ASN studies with BRCC. Southern and BRCC are both approved by the Louisiana Board of Nursing and are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our nursing graduates who want to continue their education and obtain a BSN,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Wille E. Smith. “The affiliation agreement with Southern University will streamline the process for our students to enroll and position them for future growth professionally within the medical field.” 

Immediately following the signing ceremony, BRCC recognized Belton for his 35 years of service in higher education in Louisiana as he prepares to retire at the end of June. In 2015, Belton made history by becoming Southern University’s first president-chancellor when the Southern University System Board of Supervisors combined the roles.