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New nursing degree will be offered in Bemidj

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region Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

BEMIDJI - Northwest Technical College and the Bemidji School of Nursing will launch a new two-year associate degree program in nursing beginning in the fall of 2013.

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According to a news release issued Tuesday, graduates of the new program will be qualified to immediately take their Registered Nurse exams.

The program has been accepted by both the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the Minnesota Board of Nursing, and will begin accepting applicants into the program this year.

NTC plans two cohorts for the program - one online and one on campus - and will enroll about 60 students during the first year with 25 online and 35 on campus. The school plans to expand the program to 80 students, 40 each online and on campus, in 2014.

"We polled our students, and this is what they want," Dr. Jeanine Gangeness, founding dean of the Bemidji School of Nursing, said in the release. "Almost all of the nursing students at NTC - 93 percent of them - want to be RNs. We can now provide that in a program that is only one credit more than our current practical nursing program."

In addition to being immediately qualified for RN exams, program graduates can transfer directly into Bemidji State University's nursing program.

Additionally, students currently in NTC's practical nursing program who complete LPN requirements by the end of the summer of 2013 can move into the new RN program in the fall of 2013.

John Centko, NTC provost, said the alignment between NTC and Bemidji State as a key factor in creating the program.

"This is another example of how NTC and Bemidji State are aligning to meet our students' demands to fulfill their educational goals in a cost-effective manner," he said in the release. "Both schools continue to be innovative in providing our students with multiple avenues to achieve their goals."

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