San Jacinto College, University of Houston-Clear Lake further local nurses' careers through RN-to-BSN programs

Two Bay Area colleges now offer RN-to-BSN programs. (Adobe Stock photo)
Two Bay Area colleges now offer RN-to-BSN programs. (Adobe Stock photo)

Two Bay Area colleges now offer RN-to-BSN programs. (Adobe Stock photo)

As demands on health care professionals continue to change amid the coronavirus pandemic, two Bay Area colleges are helping to further the careers of local nurses through RN-to-BSN programs.

An RN-to-BSN program provides registered nurses with the experience necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree. San Jacinto College’s RN-to-BSN program received approval in fall 2019 and is expected to welcome its first class next semester.

Veronica Jammer, department chair of San Jacinto's RN-to-BSN program, said the program will help give nurses further credentials, which is necessary in the contemporary health care field given the “real big push” recently to have more nurses with bachelor’s degrees at patient bedsides. Having an RN-to-BSN program will also foster opportunities for research and new leadership positions at the college, she said.

“I strongly believe that, when you’re looking at [as professional an occupation] as nursing, the more credentials you have, the better it is for the people that you’re serving,” she said. “This is another arm of the launching pad in providing opportunities for people to become a professional nurse.”

University of Houston-Clear Lake also has an RN-to-BSN program at its Pearland campus and is hosting a live virtual information session via Zoom on July 14. Most RN-to-BSN programs in Texas are not primarily face-to-face, according to a UHCL press release, but both UHCL and San Jacinto’s models are based around in-person instruction.



Karen Alexander, UHCL’s RN-to-BSN program director and assistant professor of nursing, said in the release that the program’s flexible scheduling allows students to continue working, since classes are always on the same day or days each week, and clinical site requirements are hybrid. Still, there is only one fully online course in the program, she said. If nurses are employed by Heath Corp. of America Healthcare, their UHCL tuition will be paid forward, and they will be accommodated with needed time for school, per the release.

San Jacinto’s fall 2020 application period is open through June 30, with preference given to San Jacinto graduates from the north, central and south campuses, Jammer said. Jammer will be one of two faculty members on the board of the RN-to-BSN program; the other faculty member was hired externally and started work June 1, she said. Additional faculty will be added as students advance through the program and enrollment increases.

The program will welcome 30 students for the fall 2020 semester and will continue admitting 30-person classes each semester until fall 2022. RN-to-BSN courses will follow the same model as other technical courses at the college, and coursework will be conducted in eight-week blocks.

Although the rollout of the program could change, with the future of higher education uncertain amid the pandemic, Jammer said the college’s students will rise to the occasion. Support from local employers is essential, as community leaders encourage nurses to move forward with applying, Jammer said.

“One thing that nursing students and nurses always know: you always have to be ready for change,” she said. “Whatever the situation calls for, we are still called to duty and to do our best.”

Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. on June 17 to accurately reflect Veronica Jammer's role at San Jacinto College. A previous version of the story misidentified her as college president.

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

<

MOST RECENT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's police reform task force is gathering more community input. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Police reform task force asks Houston residents to share opinions through Aug. 9

The Houston Mayor's Task Force on Policing Reform is circulating a survey among Houston neighborhoods to collect opinions from residents.

The 2020 U.S. Census response rate is already lagging behind 2010 numbers, and officials said the shortened timeline only increases the chances of an undercount. (Community Impact staff)
Shortened census timeline could shortchange Houston, its most vulnerable communities

The 2020 U.S. Census response rate is already lagging behind 2010 numbers, and officials said the shortened timeline only increases the chances of an undercount.

The farm-to-table restaurant plans to create 90 jobs and offer familiar American meals. (Courtesy Whiskey Cake)
Whiskey Cake restaurant to open in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Proposed League City budget includes property tax rate decrease

The proposed fiscal year 2020-21 budget for League City, which begins Oct. 1, includes a property tax rate drop and decreases in operating and capital project expenses.

Galveston County COVID-19 cases have reached 9,168 as of Aug. 5. A total of 107 cases were reported Aug. 4, and another 62 were reported Aug. 5. (Community Impact staff)
Galveston County COVID-19 cases pass 9,000 mark

Galveston County COVID-19 cases have reached 9,168 as of Aug. 5. A total of 107 cases were reported Aug. 4, and another 62 were reported Aug. 5.

The overall death total in Harris County hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 17 deaths confirmed Aug. 5, including man in his 20s

The overall death total hit 805, with the majority of deaths—78%—occurring in individuals ages 60 and older.

UHCL has come up with an in-person and remote learning plan for the upcoming school year. (Designed by Community Impact staff)
University of Houston-Clear Lake looks at plans for fall semester

University of Houston-Clear Lake will be offering both in-person and online classes in the fall.

Restaurants in Houston can now opt to take up to 50% of its designated parking spaces to create outdoor dining space as long as COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston restaurants can now tap parking lots for outdoor dining

Houston City Council has approved a proposal to allow restaurants to take over 50% of their parking spaces to expand outdoor dining capacity.

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Galveston Bay Park, Coastal Texas Study, Jim Blackburn, Rob Rogers
Galveston Bay Park idea earns top honors in Houston 2020 Visions competition

A plan to create a 10,000-acre public park of chained islands in Galveston Bay to mitigate storm damage to the coast was among three projects to win top honors in the international design competition Houston 2020 Visions.