JSU and RMC Partnership to Address National Nursing Initiative


Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center hopes 80 percent of its registered nurses will have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by the year 2020. Now, thanks to a new partnership with Jacksonville State University, that goal just became more attainable.

Beginning this fall, RMC’s registered nurses will receive a 25 percent reduction in tuition for JSU’s online RN to BSN program – bringing the cost down from $362 dollars per credit hour to $271.50. While it cannot be applied retroactively, RMC nurses currently pursuing a BSN degree at JSU will be eligible for the discount for the remainder of their course of study.

In 2010, a landmark report was published by the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences (formerly the Institute of Health) calling for an 80 percent increase in the number of nurses with BSN degrees by the year 2020. Referred to as the “80 by 20” or “BSN in 10” initiative, the national push for more BSN educated nurses is endorsed by the US Department of Health and Human Services. It’s centered on studies revealing that hospitals with a majority of BSN nurses have better patient outcomes.

To make it easier for RNs to obtain their bachelor’s degrees, the JSU College of Nursing established the Strategic Teaching for Enhanced Professional Preparation (STEP) RN to BSN program. Designed with the working RN in mind, the program enables nurses to complete their BSN entirely online within one calendar year. There’s no waiting list and students are admitted each semester. The flexible and convenient program is now even more affordable for RMC nurses, thanks to the new agreement with JSU.

“We have partnered with RMC on several efforts,” said Phyllis Waits, JSU associate professor of nursing and director of the STEP program. “We feel this is a win-win for both RMC and JSU. RMC will come closer to meeting the 80 by 20 recommendation and JSU will have more students.”

For more information on the STEP program, contact Phyllis Waits at 256-782-5421 or pwaits@jsu.edu or Tammy Johnson at 256-782-8489 or tjohnson@jsu.edu.