South Central College (SCC) with campuses in Faribault and North Mankato and Metropolitan State University in St. Paul held a news conference Thursday announcing a nursing partnership.  South Central President Dr. Annette Parker and Metropolitan State President Dr. Virginia "Ginny" Arthur signed a historic agreement during news conferences at each of the South Central campuses.

Dr. Parker pointed out both SCC and Metropolitan State are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system including 30 colleges and seven universities.  Under the system's RN to BSN program, individuals graduating from any Minnesota State college with an Associate of Science degree in nursing and a GPA of 2.5 or better are guaranteed admission into any state university Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, provided they have passed their Registered Nursing licensure exam to practice in Minnesota.

Dr. Parker told students, faculty members from both schools and media attending the news conference "The Metro Plan" will take the agreement another step by providing SCC students with a guided plan for completion of the Associate of Science degree at SCC and the BSN degree at Metropolitan State.

The South Central College President told KDHL following the announcement Allina Hospitals in Faribault and Owatonna are excited about the program because of the present nursing shortage not only in this region but across the nation.

Metro State President Arthur told the students, "A nursing degree makes you very mobile."  She added the schools would love to see their students stay in the area but if the desire is there to move somewhere else the degree can take them there.

Arthur and Parker talked about the need for nurses with the baby boomer generation approaching or in their senior years.

L-Dr. Annette Parker and R-Dr. Virginia Arthur sign historic nursing agreement. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld