Ladies and Gentlemen of the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing Family:
Over two years ago, April 21, 2014, Bridgeport Hospital signed a collaborative agreement with the University of Bridgeport (UB) to transition our diploma nursing program to a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN). Through our collaborative efforts, we’ve arrived at a crossroad, the opening of an RN-to-BSN and a BSN program at the University of Bridgeport and the closing of the Diploma Program at Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing (BHSN). Although bittersweet, this defining moment brings pride to the legacy that BHSN carries to UB.
The nursing class admitted this past fall of 2015 will be the last class to enter the BHSN Diploma Program and will graduate in May of 2017. The School of Nursing and its Allied Health Programs will close by the end of May, in 2017. A few BHSN faculty have transitioned to the University of Bridgeport to teach in their programs. The majority of faculty will remain at BHSN to teach out the last nursing class and then join UB in July of 2017 for the first BSN nursing class.
Since 1884, Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing has prepared nurses for entry into practice. Throughout the years, BHSN maintains accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN, previously NLN-AC) and continually remains competitive with waiting lists for entrance. The NCLEX-RN (state board examination) pass rate at BHSN continues to exceed the national average and remains competitive within our State of Connecticut. BHSN is the source of strong clinical graduates and is held in the highest regard.
For over 50 years, the educational pathway to nursing has been divisive with a gradual movement towards change. Today, evidence-based studies have shaped the future of nursing and have accelerated this movement. In October 2010, the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health which called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80% by 2020. Regardless of reasons for the changes, it is clear that transformations are underway and the shift toward requiring a BSN degree for employment is the way of the 21st century.
Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing and the University of Bridgeport have worked diligently and quickly to accomplish this transition. We would like to thank all involved for their leadership and efforts to make this happen.
As we continue in planning for the closure of BHSN, our next step is seeking partnership for our Allied Health Programs. As with nursing, the Surgical Technology Program also entered their last class this fall, 2015. We are continuing to offer Sterile Processing classes throughout 2016 until a partnership for the Allied Health Programs has been established.
BHSN is at a historic crossroad, ending the era as a diploma program and beginning the integration to a BSN program at UB. We are very proud of our BHSN graduates. These RNs are visible in the community caring for others in a myriad of health care settings, using their strong classroom and clinical education, as they have been, for over 130 years. Please join us in celebrating our past and envisioning our future.
William M. Jennings, Executive Vice President, Yale New Haven Health
President and CEO, Bridgeport Hospital
MaryEllen H. Kosturko, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Operations
School of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer