U.P. colleges team up for nursing degree option

ESCANABA — Bay College and Lake Superior State University (LSSU) have revised a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion program to make it possible for students to earn a BSN in four years. The agreement better coordinates Bay College’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and general education courses with LSSU BSN courses into a four-year program. A blended-teaching approach also uses online courses so students will only have to come to Bay’s campus once a week.

The program is primarily designed for a nursing student to start and finish their course work on the Bay campus within a four-year time period. It also gives ADNs that are registered nurses – RNs – flexibility in completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing if they so desire. The option also expands throughout Bay’s service area a BSN track for ADNs, a completion opportunity LSSU has been giving to Eastern Upper Peninsula and Ontario students for 30 years.

While LSSU has been offering the BSN completion program on Bay’s campus since 1995, the new agreement streamlines course sequences to offer the final credits in one academic year.

“A BSN degree is becoming the standard needed to maintain nursing jobs across the country,” said Bay College President Laura Coleman. “This agreement which allows students to complete the ADN-BSN in four years is a great opportunity for our students to obtain the needed degrees at the lowest cost.”

“This agreement represents LSSU’s ongoing commitment to delivering baccalaureate education through its regional center partners and host institutions,” said LSSU’s acting president David Roland Finley. “Partnerships like these create more opportunities for Bay College students, and will benefit regional health care throughout the south-central Upper Peninsula for decades to come.”

“LSSU is proud of its long term commitment to students in the Escanaba region,” reaffirmed Ron Hutchins, LSSU’s academic dean for the School of Nursing, Kinesiology, and Fire Science and Emergency Services. “This program was developed through collaboration between faculty and staff of LSSU and Bay College and the program re-design has been approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing.”

Linda Lewandowski, Dean of Allied Health, added, “Bay’s nursing students are very excited about the opportunity to be able to transition so easily into a BSN completion program with LSSU. They especially like the fact that all of their courses can be taken close to home at Bay, including upper-level nursing courses for the last two semesters.”

“The BSN completion is just another example of the strong partnership between LSSU and Bay,” said Heidi Berg, LSSU’s Escanaba-Iron Mountain regional center director. “I’m excited to re-formalize this agreement and allow students to leverage their Bay associate degree into LSSU’s baccalaureate degree and further career opportunities.”

Students can also earn baccalaureate degrees in accounting, business, criminal justice, general studies, and early childhood education, without ever having to leave Bay’s Escanaba main campus or the Bay West campus in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Contact Heidi Berg, LSSU Regional Center at 906-217-4146 or the Bay College Transfer Office at 906-217-4014 for more information.