Penn State Fayette, New Kensington sign nursing agreement with community college

Memorandum of understanding allows graduates of Westmoreland County Community College's registered nursing program to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing degree at Penn State campuses

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, and Penn State New Kensington have signed a memorandum of understanding with Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC).

The agreement will offer past and future licensed graduates of WCCC’s registered nursing program a tuition adjustment of 25% per credit to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree from either of the Penn State campuses, and the University will award merit- and need-based scholarships of up to $3,000 to eligible applicants.

The program will support a 2010 initiative by the Institute of Medicine to increase the number of nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing degree in hospitals across the nation to 80% by 2020. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median salary for BSNs at $71,730, with expected employment growth of 15%.

“This initiative is an excellent example of how higher education is working together to meet the needs of our communities and students,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of Penn State New Kensington. “This partnership provides a cost-effective option for students to gain additional knowledge in nursing while simultaneously helping local hospitals meet their educational goals.”

The program may be completed in as little as one year. Enrollment for eligible students has begun for the fall 2019 semester. RN-to-BSN students will be afforded full access to Penn State Fayette and Penn State New Kensington facilities, including library resources, computer labs, fitness centers, tutoring services and more.

“We have been graduating nurses since 1975 at Westmoreland, and this memorandum with Penn State Fayette and Penn State New Kensington offers our students a pathway to a bachelor of science degree in nursing,” said Tuesday Stanley, president of Westmoreland County Community College. “Our mission has always been to help our students improve their quality of life through education. For many, a BSN is the next step.”

Admissions counselors will be available at both campuses to assist in the application process and waive the application fee. Students interested in Penn State Fayette may contact the admissions office at 724-430-4130 or by email at [email protected], and students interested in Penn State New Kensington may contact the admissions office at 724-334-LION (5466) or by email at [email protected].