Nursing students can get a jump-start on their careers with a new concurrent enrollment program offered in partnership by Northern Arizona University and the Maricopa Community Colleges.

The concurrent enrollment program allows students to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing at a local community college while co-enrolling at NAU, bringing them to an earlier completion of their bachelor’s degree in nursing.

When students complete the Maricopa nursing program, they are eligible to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. Concurrently enrolled nursing students need one only additional semester to earn the final 10 NAU credits required for their bachelor’s degree.

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees are “highly valued by potential health care organizations” because they can perform a wider array of services and be employed in leadership roles, said Doug Small, associate dean for NAU’s Extended Campuses.

Students have easy access to NAU courses through online, hybrid and on-site courses offered in the Phoenix area.

The two institutions decided to enhance their long-standing RN to BSN transfer partnership to help meet the growing need for health organizations seeking to hire nurses with bachelor’s degrees.

“We combined our program delivery to advance the curriculum so our students are more competitive at an earlier stage for nursing career advancement and leadership positions,” Small said. “Streamlining the process saves our students time and money.”

For information go to nau.edu/extended or nursing.maricopa.edu