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Arizona State University (ASU) and Eastern Arizona College (EAC) have partnered to create a concurrent enrollment program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree from ASU while studying at EAC’s campus in Thatcher, Arizona.

The partnership between EAC and ASU, called the EAC-ASU Baccalaureate Nursing Program, allows students to take class for both their associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time. It is a quicker, cheaper, and more flexible option than other traditional nursing education tracks, offering hybrid courses that allow students to do their work online at their own pace but ask professors questions in person.

Program director Carolyn McCormies tells ASUNow.ASU.edu, “Research shows that patient outcomes are better when nurses have a higher level of education, but many nurses with associate degrees find it very difficult to go back to school once they start working or have families. Our graduates have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree along with their associate. The whole community benefits from having a program like this in their midst.”

A main goal of the program is to ensure that skilled healthcare professionals and quality care aren’t lost to bigger cities. ASU and EAC aim to keep graduates of the program in rural areas. Each semester, students in the program are required to complete 10 hours of community service as well as four hours of “leadership time” mentoring underclassmen.

To learn more about Arizona State University’s partnership with Eastern Arizona College to encourage nurses to work in rural areas, visit here.

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