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NCC Partners with Western CT State University to Offer RN to BSN Program

There’s good news for registered nurses with an Associate degree who want to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Norwalk Community College has partnered with Western Connecticut State University to bring WestConn’s RN to BSN program to the NCC campus in Norwalk.

As the medical field advances, there is a greater demand for registered nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Registered nurse (RN) graduates of Associate Degree programs can now return to school at Norwalk Community College to earn the BSN by completing a program of study which is similar to the program completed by undergraduate students, but includes some RN-only components that build upon existing knowledge and skills.

“The complexities of health care are changing and delivery of patient care requires that nurses be baccalaureate prepared,” said Joan Palladino, Associate Professor of Nursing at WCSU. “The Institute of Medicine Report (2011) states that in order to provide quality patient care, the registered nurse population needs to be 80 percent baccalaureate prepared by the year 2020.”

Dr. Coral Presti, Director of Nursing and Allied Health at NCC, said this new program will result in a seamless transition into WCSU’s well-respected RN to BSN program. She’s excited about bringing the program to NCC because it will allow nurses to earn their degrees in a timely and convenient manner.

“NCC is thrilled that its nursing graduates will have the opportunity to continue their nursing education right here at NCC,” said Presti. “We all worked diligently to make this happen.”

In order to receive the BSN degree from Western Connecticut State University, a student must complete a minimum of 30 credits and/or half the major, whichever is greater, at the university.

Nursing and Allied Health at NCC

Norwalk Community College is one of five community colleges in Connecticut to offer an Associate in Science Degree in nursing. This four-semester program provides the foundation for the practice of nursing and includes extensive clinical laboratory experience in hospitals and acute and long-term care facilities. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurses.

The program is based in NCC’s state-of-the-art Center for Science, Health and Wellness, a $38.3 million facility which opened in fall 2011. The Center includes exceptional laboratories and classrooms.

A unique feature of the Center is a Hospital Simulation Unit with computerized patient mannequins called Sim-Men. These patient simulators are used to teach students a variety of patient care scenarios in a safe, controlled setting. The talking mannequins make heartbeat, lung and abdominal sounds and can be programmed to perspire or turn blue. Interchangeable body parts are added to simulate specific wounds and burns.

“The advantage of using simulation in nursing education is that students can practice, make mistakes or do things extremely well in a controlled setting,” said Mary Ann Tessier, NCC Nursing Department chair.

NCC has one of the largest collections of Sim-Men patient simulators in Connecticut, including male, female, child and infant models. Last month, the college’s Sim-Men family grew to include a “pregnant” model that delivers a Sim-baby.

For more information on the new RN to BSN program at NCC, contact Coral Presti, Ph.D., director of the NCC Nursing and Allied Health Division at (203) 857-7105 or