Jefferson Health will close the diploma program at Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing in Willow Grove after the current students are finished, Jefferson and Abington officials said Thursday in a letter to employees.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the Jefferson College of Nursing hopes to admit its first students into a new bachelor's of science in nursing program at the Willow Grove campus. Under the plan, students will apply to the Jefferson College of Nursing and select either the Center City campus or the Abington-Dixon campus, officials said.

"While decisions such as this are never easy, Jefferson is academically committed to meeting the growing demand for BSN-prepared nurses," Beth Ann Swan, dean of the Jefferson College, and Deborah Hines, chair of the Dixon School, said.

Swan and Hines said that by offer Jefferson's bachelor's of science in nursing degree at two location, the college will be able to accomodate more students to meet the increasing demand for nurses with bachelor's degrees, as opposed to a nursing degree only.