Bridges to the Baccalaureate Opens Doors for GPC Nursing Students

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
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Author: Rebecca Rakoczy   

For Immediate Release

Georgia Perimeter College nursing students soon will be paired with nurse researchers at Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in a unique internship program funded through the National Institutes of Health. (

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Called the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, the new partnership will provide $900,000 over a five-year period for programming that will increase the pool of underrepresented students prepared for careers in research. Emory and GPC are the only institutions in Georgia selected for participation.

Student applications for internships will be accepted in January. The first cohort of four students will be chosen in March for the summer program.

Students admitted to GPC under this partnership will be part of an eight-week summer immersion program of rigorous nursing education coupled with academic research exposure. After completing their associate degrees at GPC, students will seamlessly transition into the baccalaureate nursing program at Emory. While at Emory, they will benefit from individual mentoring, professional development and research immersion experiences.

Students also will receive academic advising to pursue doctoral studies in nursing and will be exposed to groundbreaking research at Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

“We want to develop among GPC associate degree students enrolled in the Bridges to Baccalaureate program a familiarity with the research process and a motivation to pursue further studies leading to a science career,” said Dr. Jackie Williams, GPC associate chair of nursing and the co-principle investigator for the grant.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Georgia Perimeter College for the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program," said Dr. Linda McCauley, dean of Emory's School of Nursing. "Both of our institutions are committed to enhancing educational opportunities for students from underrepresented groups and preparing them for careers as nurse clinicians and scientists. I know this collaboration will contribute importantly to the future of nursing and nursing science."

With this program, both institutions say they want to establish a partnership model for two-year and four-year nursing schools in Georgia to build pipelines for baccalaureate education for nursing students.

"This is a great opportunity for the GPC nursing program and its students as it promotes professional development while allowing participants a chance to pursue higher education in nursing," says Brenda Cherry, GPC's interim chair of nursing. "This partnership will increase the number of nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing."