Nursing School Integration

Why was the decision made to close the diploma program at Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing?

Research shows that hospitals achieve better patient outcomes when a higher percentage of BSN-prepared nurses care for those patients. Many hospitals are also moving to an all-BSN model because of the increased focus on chronic and preventive care under the Affordable Care Act. For acute-care hospitals like Jefferson and Abington that are seeking or maintaining Magnet status, BSN-prepared nurses are also essential. Magnet requires that institutions define a goal to achieve 80 percent BSN-prepared nurses within the organization by 2020.

There is an undeniable trend in health care to hire BSN-prepared nurses, and Jefferson is academically committed to meeting this growing demand for BSN-prepared nurses. With the closing of the diploma program, the Jefferson College of Nursing will submit an application to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing to establish a BSN program at the Abington-Dixon campus. By offering the BSN program at two locations, we will be able to accommodate a larger pool of students looking to earn their BSNs, especially prospective students in the Northern suburbs of Philadelphia.

Who made the decision to close the diploma program?

As part of our enterprise-wide integration process, work teams focused on academic, clinical and corporate operations were created. These teams have been charged with, identifying synergies and making recommendations on how to best combine programs. After thoughtful evaluation by the Integration Work Group assigned to look at our nursing education programs, the team recommended closing the diploma program following the graduation of its current students; this paves the way to providing additional opportunities for students to apply to and participate in the Jefferson College of Nursing program at two campuses. This decision was fully supported by the Integration Steering Committee and by senior leadership for the enterprise.

When is the diploma program closing and a new BSN program opening on the campus?

The Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing will submit a program closing report to the Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education and the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The diploma program will close after the school’s current students complete their education. The Jefferson College of Nursing must also submit an application to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing to establish an additional location for the BSN program at the Abington-Dixon campus. We anticipate this approval process to take between 9 and 12 months. The projected date to admit the first class of BSN students at the Abington-Dixon campus is fall of 2017.

What exactly will be the degree offerings at the Abington Dixon campus?

Upon approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing to operate an additional location, the Jefferson College of Nursing will be offering the following at the Abington-Dixon campus:

  • Upper division day BSN program
  • Upper division evening/weekend BSN program
  • Accelerated BSN program for students with a bachelor’s degree in another field (second degree, non-nurses)