April 1, 2021

Great Bay Community College and Colby-Sawyer College partner to create seamless and affordable pathway from RN to BSN

Portsmouth, NH (March 31, 2021) – Building on an informal partnership to help students obtain a four-year nursing degree, Great Bay Community College (GBCC) has entered into an agreement with Colby-Sawyer College that will enable students to start at GBCC and transfer all credits to seamlessly move into Colby-Sawyer’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The new partnership begins integrating the two programs while students are still at GBCC and includes a preferred tuition rate at Colby-Sawyer that results in a very affordable four-year degree.

Through the partnership, students will spend two years of their education in the nursing program at GBCC. In the spring semester of the second year, Colby-Sawyer will engage with interested students who want to learn more about the pathway to a four-year nursing degree. Colby-Sawyer employs an RN to BSN coordinator who is a faculty advisor and helps students through this process. All Colby-Sawyer classes are 100% online and feature eight-week courses. The per-credit cost is $270 plus a $10 per-credit online course fee, a reduction from Colby-Sawyer’s regular part-time, per-credit tuition of $310. GBCC’s per-credit cost is only $215.

“This new agreement offers our nursing graduates a simple, affordable pathway to obtain their BSN degree. Although it is an online degree, students will have the option to physically meet with faculty and staff at Colby-Sawyer College and take advantage of the academic partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health,” said Dr. Dulcinea Kaufman, director and chair of GBCC’s Department of Nursing.

The two colleges have worked together to support nursing students looking to continue their education after earning an associate degree. For many years, Colby-Sawyer staff would come to GBCC, set up a booth onsite and meet with prospective students. When Dr. Kevin Finn – Colby Sawyer’s dean of the school of nursing and health sciences and director of clinical partnerships– joined the college a year ago, he sought to formalize more transfer articulation agreements with the community colleges.

“We appreciate Colby-Sawyer’s strong interest in working with the community colleges on baccalaureate degree attainment for nurses who have earned their associate degrees at the community college level,” said Dr. Cathryn Addy, interim president of GBCC. “It’s a win-win for the students, and the state, as these nurses can be working as RNs in New Hampshire hospitals and other healthcare settings while remaining in their communities to work on their bachelor’s degree.” 

The advantage of a formal agreement for those accepted into the program is the automatic transfer of credits if specific academic criteria is met, and the ability to offer the preferred pricing. The RN to BSN program transfer articulation agreement was formalized by both colleges in January 2021.

“The students coming to Colby-Sawyer through GBCC are very well prepared. They have already completed their clinicals and are licensed nurses. Colby-Sawyer’s bachelor completion program provides them with the additional course work and knowledge through research, quality improvement and leadership to help them further their nursing career,” Finn said.

GBCC students have a lot of flexibility for participating in this program. Upon graduating from GBCC with an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, they will need to take and pass their National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX exam. At that point, they can begin working as a Registered Nurse and determine when they would like to start the online coursework at Colby-Sawyer. The eight-week classes have multiple starting dates each year, which creates substantial flexibility for those who are working or have other significant commitments.

Articulation agreements such as this between two-year and four-year colleges continue to gain in popularity and often focus on areas of critical need in the workforce, such as healthcare. New Hampshire faces a continuing shortage of nurses, and partnerships like this often result in graduates that stay and work in the state. Additionally, for students already working in healthcare, many companies may provide tuition reimbursement, further reducing the degrees’ cost.

To learn more about the Associate in Science in Nursing program at GBCC, contact Dr. Dulcinea Kaufman at dkaufman@ccsnh.edu.

About Great Bay Community College
Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth. The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.

About Colby-Sawyer College
U.S. News & World Report recognized Colby-Sawyer as a Best Regional College (No. 8) in its category, as well as a Best Value College (No. 5) and Top Social Mobility (No. 9) in its 2021 Best Colleges edition. Founded in 1837 in the heart of the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire, Colby-Sawyer is a comprehensive college with an emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences, a focus on professional preparation and a commitment to individualized experiences. Students choose from a variety of innovative majors in the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business & Social Sciences, and the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. Colby-Sawyer’s transformative teaching and learning community, which includes an enhanced partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, promotes students’ academic, intellectual and personal growth. Graduate outcome data indicates that 99% of 2019 graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Learn more at colby-sawyer.edu.