Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University signed a dual admission agreement on Monday.

Registered nurses with two-year associate degrees from HCC are now granted automatic admission to the RN-to-BSN program at Westfield State.

The schools said the agreement simplifies the application process for students. RN-to-BSN Coordinator Jessica Holden told 22News the need for nurses continues to grow.

“A lot of the workforce is retiring” Holden explained, “and so we’re looking at a deficit and the need for baccalaureate-prepared nurses is even greater right now.”

The program’s purpose is to support future generations of nurses and provide them with accessible, affordable degrees.