The Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College is at 10451 Nancy Watkins Dr. in Tampa.

As of December 20, HCC has had 187 applicants to its BSN program, with 103 of those currently enrolled.

“The program is still being built by the faculty and new courses were added for students for the Spring 2023 term. The final capstone course will be made available to students in the Fall 2023 term. Our accrediting body. SACSCOC will be visiting HCC in the spring to evaluate for accreditation of the bachelor’s degree offering,” stated Marcellyne M. Penny, MSN, RN, associate dean of nursing.

“Hillsborough Community College is continually looking for ways to serve the needs of our community, specifically our academic and workforce offerings. We work with business and community leaders to gauge the need of the labor force, both regionally and statewide. Currently, we are researching feasible options to add to our more than 200 academic and workforce certificates with a possible addition of bachelor’s degrees,” said Rich Senker, vice president for academic affairs.

Original Story Printed September 2022.

The first bachelor’s degree offering in the 54-year history of Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is new this fall with online classes for registered nurses seeking to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree.

Also offered at HCC is an associate degree in nursing, which provides an entry-level education in nursing and eligibility to take the licensing examination for registered nurses. The BSN degree takes it a step further with online studies in eight-week courses covering such topics as health promotion and risk reduction, ethical and legal issues, leadership and management, evidence-based practice and health care needs of diverse populations.

Paving the way for the BSN degree, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in mid-June issued its final approval for HCC as a baccalaureate-degree granting institution, which college officials say “will forever change the character of the institution.”

“The approval represents a transformational moment in HCC’s 54-year history,” said HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater. “Years of focused, dedicated effort went towards this successful outcome.” He noted also that the accreditation furthers HCC’s “commitment toward meeting the needs of local employers, in this case the health care industry who came to us with the request to start the BSN.”

The BSN degree will be offered campuswide across the HCC system, including in Brandon, Plant City and SouthShore, with courses primarily out of the Dale Mabry campus, said Deborah Kish Johansen, Brandon campus president.

“It’s quite exciting and a change for us,” said Johansen, noting as well the national nursing shortage. “The mission of community colleges is to help with programming where we can, so it makes sense to help with shortages to help meet the needs of our individual communities.”

By offering a BSN degree, HCC “can build on a skillset we already have, expand our offerings and supplement what our four-year partners provide,” Johansen said, “and it gives pathways to our students to complete their studies to get a BSN and advance their careers.”

For more on admission, costs, courses and accreditation, review RN to BSN information online at, email or call 813-253-7284.

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