Bryant and Stratton nursing school cannot accept new students - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Bryant and Stratton nursing school cannot accept new students

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

A nursing program at a Chesterfield college is at risk of losing state approval.

Bryant and Stratton College just learned it will have to deny any new students from starting the nursing program as it works to turn around its test scores.

The accreditation affects students like Alicia Gregory who dream to one day work as a professional nurse.

"My grandmother is a nurse. She's retired. It was always something I wanted because I've always been helping people," she said. That's why she enrolled at Bryant and Stratton College in Chesterfield in January. "When I signed up, they told me I had to go into a program period, so they put me into a Medical Assistant Program."

Gregory says she was told she could then apply for the nursing school and her credits would transfer, but now the school is being told not to allow any new nursing students.

"We want to have a well-prepared workforce," said Jay Douglas with the Virginia Board of Nursing.

The board says the college has fell below an 80 percent passing rate on important nursing exams for the past three years.

"The structure is in place so students are appropriately educated to prepare them to take the state licensing program, which is a measure of minimal competence to enter the nursing profession," Douglas said.

The college says it is complying with the state order, working to turn things around. Administrators also said the nursing program is currently a candidate for becoming nationally accredited, even though the state board does not require it.

Beth Murphy with Bryant & Stratton also says the nursing program is showing signs of progress, citing a 90 percent passing rate this year from students who graduated in December.

"For this semester, I paid $7500 to enroll for the classes," Gregory said.

Now she feels her tuition has been wasted since she can't move on.

"When I tried to look at other programs, the credits are not transferable. It's only one credit that will transfer, but it will not be the total three credits. Only one credit, and that's a total waste of money," she said.

After getting the news, she says she does not plan to complete the medical assistant program.

"I don't want to be a medical assistant. I want to be a nurse," Gregory said.

As for now, school leaders say students who graduate and students who have graduated from Bryant and Stratton are meeting state standards and can apply to be a RN if they take and pass a licensing exam.

The state nursing board oversees 151 nursing programs across Virginia. It is now reviewing whether it should require schools to be nationally accredited.

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