Berkshire Community College Nursing Program Review

Berkshire Community College (BCC) was established in 1960, and was the first of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts. It first offered classes in an old Junior High School in downtown Pittsfield, and moved to its current location in 1972. Over 8000 students enroll in the credit, noncredit, and workforce development courses each year. The College offers 35 associate degree programs and 12 certificate courses. Over half the students enrolled in the College are over the age of 23, and just over half the student body is female.

Nursing Programs

Practical Nursing Certificate

This program trains students in basic nursing skills. Graduates of this one year program will earn a Practical Nursing Certificate and be allowed to take the exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Applicants to this program must be high school graduates or have a GED. They must take Elementary Algebra if applicable, complete the program prerequisites with a grade of C or higher, and be up to date on their immunizations.

The prerequisites for the LPN program are Intro to the Human Body, Intro to Psychology, and Composition I.

Students that do not meet the admission requirements for the program may enroll in the College as Pre-LPN in the Liberal Arts program.

Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing

This program is for students who wish to begin a career in professional nursing. Graduates of the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program earn an AS degree and are eligible to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam. This program general takes two years to complete.

Applicants must be high school graduates or have a GED from within the last two years, or they may have been in the upper third of their graduating class, or they may have completed 10 credits of ADN courses within the last seven years, including Anatomy and Physiology, with a grade of C or higher. They must also be up to date on their immunizations, be eligible to take English Composition, have completed a college-level Math course, and have taken college prep Chemistry in high school or Chemistry at the college level.

Once in the program, students must earn a C or higher in all science and general education courses to be able to graduate.


This program is for students with an LPN license who want to earn their AS degree and become RNs. Students will be allowed to take a standardized test to challenge the first two nursing classes, Physical and Mental Health I and II.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the ADN program and have a current LPN license. They will also need to take the LPN to RN bridge course during the summer before entering the ADN program.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing

This program is offered in partnership with the University of Massachusetts (UMass), and is for students who are already RNs. The BS degree will be awarded by UMass. This program is a combination of internet and web-based instruction with clinical practice. It is designed for the working RN, and may be completed in one or two years, depending on the course load.

Students must take 120 credits to complete this program. They will be awarded 30 credits for having an RN license, and may transfer credits from their ADN program to meet prerequisites and general education requirements. Any foundation courses that have not already been taken during previous nursing studies must be completed before entering this program.

The foundation courses for this program are Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, English Composition, Literature, History, Statistics, Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Growth and Development/Life Span, Introductory Sociology, an Arts or Humanities elective, a Social Sciences elective, a Physical Science elective, and 12 credits of other electives.

Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street,
Pittsfield, MA 01201