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Jefferson College of Nursing Slated to Offer BSN Program at Abington-Dixon Campus in Willow Grove



(PHILADELPHIA AND WILLOW GROVE, PA) — The leadership of Jefferson College of Nursing and Abington Memorial Hospital’s Dixon School of Nursing are planning to open a second Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the Abington-Dixon Campus in Willow Grove, pending approval by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing. This second campus will open after the closure of the diploma program at the Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing.

The decision to transition the diploma program to a BSN program was the result of a thoughtful and deliberate process involving an integration team, which included nursing leaders from Abington and Jefferson. The Jefferson College of Nursing will operate the proposed BSN program as an additional location at the Abington-Dixon campus located at the Abington Health Center-Willow Grove, appealing to prospective students in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.  The BSN program is slated to begin in fall 2017 after the graduation of Dixon’s current evening/weekend class.

Debby Hines, DNP, director of Nursing Education and chair of the Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing says, “Our longstanding tradition of educating nurses to care for our community is transitioning into the next chapter for the Dixon School.” Hines is a graduate of both the Dixon School of Nursing and the Jefferson College of Nursing.

The Dixon School of Nursing has graduated more than 4,000 nurses who have served the community and beyond as leaders, educators, advance practice nurses, authors and bedside nurses, many of whom went on to earn their BSN and other advanced degrees.  A number of students benefited from the generosity of many donors, including the Dixon family, the School’s namesake.  Edith Robb Dixon, and her late husband, Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr., generously contributed to the school and its scholarship program.  The School is named for Mr. Dixon’s late mother, Eleanor Widener Dixon, and his wife Edith.  The second Jefferson College of Nursing campus will retain their name and will be referred to as the Abington-Dixon Campus.

Research supports educating and employing BSN-prepared nurses.  Many acute care hospitals are moving to an all-BSN model, especially those seeking or maintaining Magnet status, the designation granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  For their approval, the ANCC requires organizations to define a goal to achieve 80 percent staffing by BSN-prepared nurses within the organization by 2020.  Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health are Magnet hospitals and have established goals to achieve this BSN imperative through educational support and new hire mandates.

“A BSN can help create a variety of career paths for nurses,” said Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, dean and professor, Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson College of Nursing. “BSN degrees can prepare nurses for jobs beyond hospital walls, including careers in management, outpatient nursing, transitional care, community health and clinical instruction.”

This transition will help meet the growing demand for BSN-prepared nurses. Programs to be offered at the Abington-Dixon campus are:  day, evening/weekend, and an accelerated day program for those with a bachelor’s degree in another field.  Students will apply to the Jefferson College of Nursing and indicate if they wish to attend the Philadelphia or Abington- Dixon Campus. 

“With the addition of a second location at the Abington-Dixon campus, we anticipate being able to accommodate a larger pool of students interested in earning a BSN, especially prospective students in the Northern suburbs of Philadelphia,” said Swan.  In addition to a BSN program, at the Center City campus, the Jefferson College of Nursing also offers full-time and part-time master’s programs and a doctoral program in Nursing.

“We take pride in our past and are optimistic about the future as we transition our campus to a second location for the Jefferson College of Nursing,” said Hines.  “This is an exciting time for all of us as we meet the needs of those who desire a career in nursing.”

A plan is in place to incrementally accommodate an additional 200 students, both to ensure the proper allocation of resources and to deliver the quality education for which the Jefferson College of Nursing is recognized.  Over time, between the Abington-Dixon Campus and the location in Philadelphia, the Jefferson College of Nursing will seat 600 BSN students.


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Gail Benner
Thomas Jefferson University
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