UCF Nursing: Concurrent Program Expands
Joanna Levy (left) and Nicole McConnell (right) are enrolled in UCF's Concurrent Program in partnership with Seminole State College.

UCF College of Nursing has partnered with Valencia College to bring its successful Concurrent Associate of Science in Nursing (A.S.N.) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program to Valencia’s West campus.

The pilot program began with 28 students in Fall 2010. The next class will be admitted in Fall 2011 with 20 students from Valencia and 20 students from the University of Central Florida. Debra Hunt is the full-time UCF nursing adviser and instructor assigned to Valencia’s West campus.

UCF initiated its Concurrent A.S.N. to B.S.N. program in 2003 with a similar pilot program at Seminole Community College, now Seminole State College. Today, the program on Seminole State’s Altamonte Springs campus has doubled in size with 70 percent of Seminole’s nursing students participating.

The program at Seminole admits about 70 students twice a year in Fall and Spring, and UCF selects approximately half of the students. UCF added a second adviser/instructor on this campus in Spring 2011. Susan Ricci and Angela Ritten are the full-time UCF nursing advisers and instructors assigned to Seminole’s Altamonte campus.

Nicole McConnell (pictured above) said she decided to enroll in UCF’s Concurrent program to increase her knowledge in nursing, plus she feels it gives her an advantage. “All of the hospitals in Central Florida are moving toward ‘Magnet Status’ so it’s important and beneficial to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

Students in both programs have the opportunity to learn from the UCF faculty members assigned to teach UCF nursing courses at the partner campuses. As they progress in the program, they have the opportunity to learn from other UCF faculty members through online courses that are scheduled to accommodate the students’ varying clinical rotations.

As a limited-access program, UCF College of Nursing invites students who meet or exceed its admission requirements to apply for the Concurrent A.S.N. to B.S.N. program at Seminole State College and Valencia College. The unique, dual-enrollment program offers students an additional option for obtaining their baccalaureate degree from UCF. Students accepted into the competitive program take A.S.N.-level nursing courses at the partner college while taking UCF nursing courses at the same time. Students will complete their A.S.N. degree with more than half of their B.S.N. credits already earned, allowing them to complete their B.S.N. degree from UCF sooner and making them more competitive in the workforce.

UCF’s Concurrent A.S.N. to B.S.N. program is a first of its kind in the state and serves as a national model for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses. Research shows a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes.