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December 4, 2013

OCC, WSU nursing agreement offers bachelor’s in five semesters

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON HILLS — Oakland Community College nursing graduates could have a bachelor’s degree in five semesters from the Wayne State University College of Nursing program through an agreement the two schools signed recently.

“We are very excited about this opportunity. We are launching the first cohort this January, and the goal is to make it easier for students to achieve and earn a bachelor’s (degree) in nursing,” Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, associate vice president of Wayne State University Educational Outreach and International Programs, said recently.

Ezzeddine said that because of an articulation agreement, which specifies the number of transfer credits and estimated length of time required to finish a degree, between the schools, OCC students have a more specialized path into nursing.

“Before, it was more on an individual basis,” he said. “This certainly speeds up the process and provides a clear pathway for the students to complete their bachelor’s in nursing.”

The agreement is designed for students who follow a prescribed plan of study and receive an associate degree in nursing from OCC.

The credits transferred will be included in the total credit hours required for a bachelor’s of nursing, according to a press release. To qualify, standard admission, curriculum and graduation requirements of OCC and WSU also have to be met.

The agreement with Wayne State applies to all five campuses of OCC: Highland Lakes, Auburn Hills, Southfield, Orchard Ridge and Royal Oak.

Ezzeddine said all of the courses will be held at the Wayne State University Oakland Center, 33737 W. 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, a satellite WSU campus.

The agreement allows OCC graduates with an associate degree in nursing from the community college to transition to a Bachelor of Science in nursing program at Wayne State with a limited duplication of courses, Ezzeddine said.

“We try to minimize the number of courses at Wayne State if they have already taken them at OCC,” he said. “A lot of the nursing classes they have taken at OCC count toward the Wayne State degree.”

He said about 33 additional credits in nursing would need to be taken within the five semesters.

Students who have earned an associate degree in nursing from OCC can complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing in five semesters, assuming they meet other requirements, including a 3.2 GPA for a minimum of six months; employment as a registered nurse; and the standard admission, curriculum and graduation requirements of OCC and WSU, Ezzeddine said.

The agreement is in effect now through June 30, 2016, and subject to review for continuation after three years, according to the OCC press release.

OCC Interim Dean of Nursing and Health Professions Lori Przymusinski, who developed and finalized the agreement, said that although nursing programs are offered at OCC’s Southfield and Highland Lakes campuses, all five of the campus sites offer the required prerequisite courses for the program.

She added that no programs were eliminated in the agreement process and no changes occurred in the faculty ranks, but the students face the biggest change.

“Students who are graduates from the nursing program at OCC benefit as a result of the seamless transition for their pursuit of advanced degree in nursing at a top-tier university,” Przymusinski said. She added that that Wayne State benefits, too.

“Attaining a bachelor’s degree will permit these OCC (registered nurse) alumni to move into advanced practice, management, leadership, education and research roles within the nursing profession,” she said. “Employers for them include health care organizations and schools of nursing.”

Nancy T. Artinian, professor and interim dean of the College of Nursing at WSU, said the program started to address the need to prepare more nurses with a baccalaureate degree.

“The health care system is ever-changing, thus leading to changing roles for nurses, and opening up numerous other opportunities for nurses,” Artinian said.

She added that WSU will admit 32 students to the OCC-WSU program in the winter 2014 semesters.

For more information, go to https://www.oaklandcc.edu/ or http://www.nursing.wayne.edu/.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.