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A community college in the state of Colorado has received approval to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Colorado is just the latest state to offer a four-year nursing degree at a community college to help increase the number of nurses with BSN degrees.

Julia Sayler, a nursing student in Denver, tells Denver.CBSLocal.com, “I think it’s great, because a lot of people can’t afford the four year experience. We need more younger people out there.”

Research from the Institute of Medicine shows that BSN-trained nurses have better patient outcomes, leading to a recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold a BSN degree by 2020. States across the country have begun increasing the number of community colleges that can provide a BSN degree to help the country reach that number.

According to the state of Colorado’s 2017 Talent Pipeline Report, there are 2,912 openings on average annually for nurses. In 2016, only 2,558 people graduated with nursing degrees, accounting for a difference of an additional 354 nurses that were needed. The outlook for the next decade looks even worse with a predicted shortage of 13,000 nurses by 2025 according to US Department of Health and Human Services.

The decision to offer a BSN degree at Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO, was made after state lawmakers came together to try to create more ways to get students into the nursing profession to help address the state and nationwide nursing shortage.

To learn more about Colorado’s decision to offer a four-year BSN degree at the community college level, visit here.

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