Riverland offers new nursing degree

AUSTIN, Minn. — As hospitals around the country continue to change what they are looking for in a potential hire, area colleges are looking to adapt with them.

Riverland and six other community colleges have teamed up with Metropolitan State University in St. Paul for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“They can opt out at semester five and take the state examination boards and become licensed as a registered nurse. They can then come back in and finish a baccalaureate when they choose or they can continue on,” said Nancy Genelin, the Director of Nursing Programs at Riverland.

Instead of students earning their two-year degree at Riverland and moving on to a university, they can complete everything in one place.

“It gives us a way to evaluate what we’re teaching to take a look at our student learning outcomes and do some comparisons and be able to raise the standards at all of the community colleges and transition nicely into Metro State,” Genelin said.

She said it is also a way to hopefully keep the students in the area when they are done and need to find work.

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