Students enrolled at Houghton College can now simultaneously obtain an undergraduate degree from Houghton and an undergraduate nursing degree through Indiana Wesleyan University’s (IWU) 3+1 Transition to Nursing accelerated program.

The IWU program allows students to complete coursework to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 14 months after completion of their major requirements at Houghton.

“Students will have earned two bachelor’s degrees at graduation — one from Houghton and a nursing degree from IWU,” said Dr. Jamie Potter, director of pre-health professions and associate professor of biology at Houghton. “They complete these dual degrees by spending three years at Houghton College and one year (14 months) on Indiana Wesleyan’s campus, located in Marion, Indiana.”

Any Houghton major that can be completed in three years is eligible. Five seats at IWU are guaranteed to Houghton students who have met the admission requirements per program start date.

While Houghton has long offered a pre-nursing track through its biology department, this is the first time students can pursue dual degrees.

“In the past, many prospective students assumed that, if you wanted to be a nurse, you had to go to a four-year nursing program,” said Ryan Spear, Houghton College dean of admission. “Through this dual-degree program, students can set themselves apart by having diverse degrees from Houghton, including intercultural studies, biology and psychology, with the benefit of earning a nursing degree, all within four years.”

Michael Wrobel, a Houghton junior from Clay, New York, wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do until his sophomore year. “It was my dream to work in health care since I could remember, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do. I have been looking into programs to join after my time at Houghton College, but the reality is that I could’ve saved time and money if I had started nursing straight out of high school. This new program is perfect for me because, now, I am continuing my education to become a registered nurse in a relatively similar timeline as if I were staying at Houghton College for my final year.”

Sahara Javner, a Houghton senior biology major from Chester, Maine, is excited about the new agreement with IWU. “It gives future students the opportunity to pursue a nursing degree that they otherwise would have had to leave Houghton to pursue or find other options after they obtained their degree from Houghton.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that the U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of registered nurses intensified as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of registered nurses will see expansion through 2028 much faster than the average for all occupations.

“The joint program will produce well-rounded nurses that have more to offer for the ever-changing worldwide need for healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Paul Martino, professor of chemistry at Houghton. “A uniquely formed Houghton College degree along with a practical BSN degree can propel students to face the enormous healthcare challenges awaiting our generation.”

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Jamie Potter at or Dr. Paul Martino at

Pictured: Sahara Javner, in front.