UWT will assist Olympic College nursing program

The University of Washington, Tacoma will help launch Olympic College’s first-ever baccalaureate degree program set to begin in the fall of 2007.

“Olympic College is grateful for the assistance and support of the University of Washington Tacoma. UWT’s commitment to developing the BSN degree with the college played a role in getting State Board approval for the proposal. This partnership demonstrates great support from UWT for the higher educational needs of the citizens of our district,” said Dr. David Mitchell, president of Olympic College in Bremerton.

Olympic College received preliminary approval from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges April 5 to offer a bachelor of science in nursing degree. The state Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities accrediting agency need to give final approval.

The proposed bachelor’s degree program received backing from the healthcare community, which needs nurses with four-year degrees to meet the changing demands within the industry.

The program is one of four pilot applied bachelor’s degrees authorized by the legislature to increase access to bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields in the state.  UW Tacoma’s nursing program faculty will assist Olympic College with planning for the new program.

The college expects an initial enrollment of 20 students.  About 100 students are enrolled in the college’s two-year program.
“There’s a great need for more nurses, and we’re glad we can help Olympic College meet that need,” says Patricia Spakes, UW Tacoma chancellor.

UW Tacoma’s nursing program offers two degree opportunities for registered nurses: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for learners who are RNs, an ADN-MN option and a Master of Nursing (MN) and is affiliated with the top-ranked University of Washington School of Nursing at the Seattle campus.

“This new dimension to our existing partnership with colleagues at Olympic College will help prepare students to transfer to upper-division courses,” says Sharon Gavin Fought, UWT associate professor of nursing. 

Olympic College’s proposed program would be open to students with associate degrees.

“This truly is a historic occasion,” Olympic College President David Mitchell said.  “This is a major step for us.”