09/17/04 — MOC to offer new nursing degree

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MOC to offer new nursing degree

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 17, 2004 2:00 PM

DURHAM -- The Watts School of Nursing, North Carolina's oldest nursing diploma program, has announced that it will join with Mount Olive College next year to offer an associate of science degree in nursing.

"Today's nursing students are seeking the flexibility of an associate degree program, rather than the diploma we have historically offered," said the nursing school's director, Peggy Baker. "This partnership allows us to maintain the identity and long-standing traditions of Watts School of Nursing while addressing the needs of our students."

Watts School of Nursing will remain based at Durham Regional Hospital and will continue its emphasis on hands-on, hospital-based education.

However, students will have the ability to take general education courses through Mount Olive College at the Watts Durham Regional campus, the Mount Olive Research Triangle Park campus or on the Internet.

Dr. Ellen S. Jordan, vice president for academic affairs at Mount Olive College, said, "This is an exciting time for both the Watts School of Nursing and Mount Olive College. We look forward to providing this degree in such an outstanding, historical institution."

The high demand for nurses and enrollment in nursing programs throughout the state has made it challenging in recent years for some nursing students to complete the general education prerequisites required prior to matriculating at Watts. Some students have had to take courses at a variety of colleges or have had to postpone their start date because the prerequisite classes were full, Dr. Baker says.

"We want to create an academic environment that is accessible, flexible and user friendly," she said. "This gives students enrolled at Watts the convenience of obtaining all courses for admittance to the nursing curriculum through one college."

Once accepted, the students will have guaranteed placement for required courses in the nursing program, which makes registration and classes more convenient. It also keeps the students on track for their planned graduation date, said Dr. Baker.

The associate degree also provides greater career flexibility for its graduates, who may choose to pursue baccalaureate and graduate degrees in the future, she said.