Columbia Basin College’s nursing program checked off the final requirement for its new bachelor’s degree program.
They’ve come from across the Tri-Cities, including the three hospitals, clinics and home healthcare. It’s also drawn a student from Moses Lake and a student from Seattle.
“We just opened up another choice for nurses that are out there,” she said. “A lot of online programs don’t have someone in your area where you can get support from your instructors.”
A 2011 report from the Institutes of Medicine says patient outcomes are improved by a more knowledgeable nursing staff, and recommends an 80 percent increase in the number of professionals with a bachelor’s degrees in nursing by 2020.
Nurses are treating a growing elderly population with more chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the report said.
The college developed the bachelor’s program to address the demand, but they needed to start teaching classes before being able to get accredited, Tucker said. They will be reviewed again in five years.
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