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For Immediate Release: Nov. 10, 2003

Nursing Program Approved to Move Forward

Farmers Branch, Dallas, TX - The Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas unanimously approved Brookhaven College's proposal to develop its own nursing education program at a meeting Oct. 23 in Austin. The decision to pursue an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program at Brookhaven College is the result of an intensive and comprehensive inquiry into the needs of north Texas and within the Dallas County Community College District.

Twelve months of Brookhaven College’s research, preparation and documentation culminated in a 400-page proposal that the nine-member board reviewed prior to the board meeting. “The BNE requirements for a nursing program are stringent,” said Alice Villadsen, president of Brookhaven College. “These requirements are in keeping with their role as a regulatory board that is committed to protecting and promoting the welfare of the people of Texas. Brookhaven College, along with the BNE, wants to ensure that each person holding a license as a registered professional nurse in the state of Texas is competent to practice safely.”

Brookhaven College has a long process ahead to be approved and accredited by the BNE to teach nursing students. In addition to the approval of the proposal, the BNE must approve the college’s application next year. The application will include detailed documentation of the policies and procedures that will govern the program including the curriculum, a description of the program, student and faculty policies and the credentials of the director and faculty of the program. Representatives from the BNE will conduct a site visit of the college and nursing program facilities before the final approval is given.

Enrollment of the first 30 students in Brookhaven College nursing is anticipated for the fall 2004 semester according to Juanita Zapata Flint, dean of Health and Human Services. The first three years of operation for the new program, the BNE has limited the number of students the college is allowed to 30 per year. In the short term this will reduce the number of students taking nursing courses in the DCCCD, but Flint is hopeful that the restriction will be lifted after the program has proven itself effective.
"We have nursing board scores averaging approximately 95 to 97 percent for our current students," said Flint. These kinds of scores will be one of the measures the BNE uses to measure success of the program in the future.

While Brookhaven College will spend the next year preparing to open the new nursing program, El Centro College will spend the next year "phasing out" its program at the Brookhaven College campus. Since 1980, Brookhaven College has offered courses in nursing, but the program has been accredited through El Centro College in downtown Dallas. The approval from the BNE means nursing education will continue at Brookhaven College as an independent program, not as a satellite program. The addition of a new nursing program within the Dallas County Community College District, both Brookhaven and El Centro Colleges are member institutions, means that in the future the DCCCD will be able to produce more nursing graduates to meet the continuing shortage of nursing professionals.

The final class of nursing students under the El Centro program will be those admitted in January. The programs will run concurrently until those students have completed the program.

Brookhaven College is one of the seven colleges of the Dallas County Community College District. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College District without regard to race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex, disability or sexual orientation. Brookhaven College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 (telephone number 404-679-4501) to award the associate degree.


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Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2003