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The state of Colorado recently passed new legislation enabling 13 institutions in the state’s system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The bill passed 12 to 1 in the Colorado House of Representatives Health, Insurance and Environment committee, setting a landmark example for other states looking for solutions to nursing shortages.

The new legislation seeks to address an imminent healthcare crisis in Colorado. Community colleges already teach and train high quality registered nurses, and with an acute shortage of nursing professionals with four-year degrees, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) sees this as a scalable solution to address the overwhelming shortage of bachelor-prepared nurses.

System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells, “We greatly appreciate having had the opportunity for a thorough and forthright discussion of the merits of this legislation. Our colleges have made significant investments in state-of-the-art equipment and simulation labs to create robust nursing programs that can be scaled to offer four-year BSN degrees. Thus, this legislation provides a cost-effective way to expand the number of BSN nursing graduates in Colorado.”

Three community college students testified in favor of the bill, all wanting to pursue BSN degrees but concerned about the cost and logistical issues of transferring to another school. This legislation is important for current nursing students and for future generations who will benefit from local and affordable programs. Nursing students come from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds, so it is also important that they have an equally diverse range of opportunities to acquire additional education and training.

To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to allow community colleges to offer four-year BSN degrees, visit here.

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