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News / Northwest

Lower Columbia College offers 3rd bachelor’s degree program; this time for nursing

By Minka Atkinson, The Daily News
Published: May 15, 2024, 7:49am

LONGVIEW — Lower Columbia College is now offering its third bachelor’s program: a nursing program which kicks off in the fall.

Applications for LLC’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program are open through June 30.

School leaders hope the new program will increase the number of registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees serving local rural areas.

The Washington Center for Nursing reports that Cowlitz County had 1,190 registered nurses in 2021 and Wahkiakum County had 28, based on the nurses’ mailing addresses. Statewide, the center expects demand for registered nurses to grow by 12,000 jobs by 2031.

“Today, many employers desire nurses with credentials at the baccalaureate level,” LCC Director of Baccalaureate Programs Michaela Jackson writes in an email.

Though demand for employees with bachelor’s degrees is high, said Jackson, only 10.9% of people aged 25 or older in Cowlitz County have one, compared to 23.8% in Washington and 21.6% nationwide, according to 2022 U.S. Census data.

Jackson added that offering the program at LCC will help current nursing students continue learning without disrupting their personal or professional lives.

Graduates of LCC’s associate degree nursing program may be able to complete the bachelor’s program in three quarters of fulltime enrollment with 15 credits per quarter.

The new program is set to begin in fall 2024, and has both full- and part-time options available, according to a press release. It is designed for students who have obtained a Washington RN, or registered nurse, license by September. Classes are offered in hybrid format and will meet in person one evening per week.

This is LCC’s third bachelor’s program; a Bachelor of Applied Science in Teacher Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership and Technical Management are also available.