Regulators restore Berkshire Community College nursing program's 'full approval status'

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PITTSFIELD — A cloud lifted from Berkshire Community College on Wednesday, after state regulators restored its two-year nursing program's "full approval status." 

With the vote, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing removed an "approval with warning" label that hovered over the college's two-year nursing program since last year.

While the college still has corrective documents to file with the board, the elevated status brings an end to a set of regulatory conditions that placed the program in jeopardy. 

National and state regulators launched separate reviews of the program last year, both calling on the college to keep better track of student outcomes. Just after national regulators gave the program a clean bill of health, the college announced in the spring that it would not enroll new two-year nursing students this year as it works to comply with state regulations.

Health industry leaders in the Berkshires have said the program plays an important role in maintaining staffing levels at county institutions. 

According to a statement Thursday from BCC leaders, state regulators conducted a site survey in October, during which they "reviewed documentation, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the facilities, and carefully examined both current data and plans for future data collection." 

College President Ellen Kennedy said in the statement that she and her team are proud to see the program's approval status fully reinstated. 

"Berkshire Community College has been offering nursing education for over 50 years and we will continue to provide high quality nursing education that leads to employment and meets the needs of health care providers."

A one-year practical nursing program, which did not face the same regulatory challenges, continues to be fully compliant, according to the college.

Jennifer Berne, the college's vice president of academic affairs, pointed to exam results that met the demands placed upon the college by regulators. 

"Our excellent nursing faculty, staff and health care partners have worked diligently to adjust the BCC nursing program to the new standards of professionalism demanded of all future nurses," she said in the statement. "Improved examination results are an important result of this work." 

The college plans to once again admit students — 56 of them — into the two-year associate degree program next fall. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296. 

Health industry leaders in the Berkshires have said the program plays an important role in maintaining staffing levels at county institutions. 

According to a statement Thursday from BCC leaders, state regulators conducted a site survey in October, during which they "reviewed documentation, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the facilities, and carefully examined both current data and plans for future data collection." 

College President Ellen Kennedy said in the statement that she and her team are proud to see the program's approval status fully reinstated. 

"Berkshire Community College has been offering nursing education for over 50 years and we will continue to provide high quality nursing education that leads to employment and meets the needs of health care providers."

A one-year practical nursing program, which did not face the same regulatory challenges, continues to be fully compliant, according to the college.

Jennifer Berne, the college's vice president of academic affairs, pointed to exam results that met the demands placed upon the college by regulators. 

"Our excellent nursing faculty, staff and health care partners have worked diligently to adjust the BCC nursing program to the new standards of professionalism demanded of all future nurses," she said in the statement. "Improved examination results are an important result of this work." 

The college plans to once again admit students — 56 of them — into the two-year associate degree program next fall. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296. 

According to a statement Thursday from BCC leaders, state regulators conducted a site survey in October, during which they "reviewed documentation, met with students, faculty and staff, toured the facilities, and carefully examined both current data and plans for future data collection." 

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College President Ellen Kennedy said in the statement that she and her team are proud to see the program's approval status fully reinstated. 

"Berkshire Community College has been offering nursing education for over 50 years and we will continue to provide high quality nursing education that leads to employment and meets the needs of health care providers."

A one-year practical nursing program, which did not face the same regulatory challenges, continues to be fully compliant, according to the college.

Jennifer Berne, the college's vice president of academic affairs, pointed to exam results that met the demands placed upon the college by regulators. 

"Our excellent nursing faculty, staff and health care partners have worked diligently to adjust the BCC nursing program to the new standards of professionalism demanded of all future nurses," she said in the statement. "Improved examination results are an important result of this work." 

The college plans to once again admit students — 56 of them — into the two-year associate degree program next fall. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296. 

"Our excellent nursing faculty, staff and health care partners have worked diligently to adjust the BCC nursing program to the new standards of professionalism demanded of all future nurses," she said in the statement. "Improved examination results are an important result of this work." 

The college plans to once again admit students — 56 of them — into the two-year associate degree program next fall. 

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296. 


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