A-BSN Program to be closed

A-BSN cohort poses for picture
Dr. Debra Wallace(center row, fifth from the right) takes a picture with Cohort 12. Cohorts are the class for each semester. The ABSN program will end on cohort 19.

Cal State Northridge will be closing the Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing (A-BSN) Program as of the fall 2017 semester, according to the department of nursing website.

A-BSN is for second-degree students who have a minimum of a BA or BS degree in any field and also who have completed necessary prerequisite courses and admission requirements.

Dr. Debra Wallace, a faculty member of the department, said the program closing will result in 20 instructors losing their jobs, however, she added that there will be a couple of skills lab opportunities for the RN (Registered Nursing) to the BSN program, such as health assessment.

“My understanding is that the program is going away because it was never funded to run a high-impact program, and ultimately now we do not have funding, and therefore cannot afford the program,” Wallace said.

A-BSN graduate Jaya Gill said the importance of affordable tuition prices and CSUN’s location is critical to nursing students being able to participate in the program.

It’s also a difficult program to get into, she said, with many applicants and students requiring a 3.9 grade point average.

According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, CSUN’s passing rates for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) have been high, between 89.09 percent and 97.06 percent.

The program anticipated graduating 36 registered nurses per year when it started, and it has maintained a similarly steady rate, with the exception of 55 passing the NCLEX during the 2014/2015 school year.

The program also experienced an enrollment increase in 2013, Gill said.

“They’re hired immediately by hospitals in our community and nationally as registered nurses,” Wallace said.

A support page on Facebook was made, delivering a statement stressing that without the program “employers and legislators need to step-in (sic) to increase support for accelerated nursing programs.”

According to the Facebook statement, the loss of A-BSN will negatively affect healthcare organizations across the state with the shortage of cumulative nursing, and will result in less-trained nurses making up the nursing workforce.

The message was posted while nursing faculty has been reaching out for help, even reaching out to The Los Angeles Times and The Signal, Santa Clarita’s newspaper, to make their message known in the community.

Efforts have been made by nursing director Marianne Hattar-Pollara and other faculty members, including Wallace, in communicating with interim dean Tami Abourezk about bringing a generic BSN program that can work like those at other Cal State schools, but that idea was “considered too costly,” said Wallace.

Both Wallace and Gill said they find it upsetting that this program will end.

“This program has provided me with the foundation to begin my career in nursing as a critical care registered nurse,” Gill said on the Facebook support page.

Wallace and Gill also said that there have been no comments made by the school administration about A-BSN being closed.