The Stony Brook University School of Nursing and Suffolk County Community College will be offering a joint admissions program to allow nursing students to go from an Associate of Science Degree to a Bachelor’s of Nursing Degree program starting in September 2017. The Nursing First program, the first of its kind on Long Island, will allow students to earn their associate’s degree in Nursing through Suffolk Community College, and then be selected to move directly into the BSN program at Stony Brook University. The inaugural Nursing First program will consist of 65 students.
Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook believes that the Nursing First program will help build a stronger nursing workforce on Long Island and in New York State. A lot of hospitals are now requiring Registered Nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree in order to gain employment with their organization. A lot of Long Island nursing professionals have attended Suffolk Community College to get their Associate’s in nursing. This program will now make it easy for students to continue their education and gain employment immediately upon graduation because of the BSN designation.
“Our colleagues at Suffolk do an outstanding job in preparing and diversifying our nursing workforce with the selection and training of future nurses,” said Dr. Lee Anne Xippolitos, Dean of Stony Brook University School of Nursing. “However, with dramatic changes in an ever-changing healthcare landscape, the need to educate nurses who are skilled at the highest levels is necessary. This program provides the students with a wonderful bridge to that education.”
“Suffolk and Stony Brook University’s creation of the Suffolk-Stony Brook Nursing First Program provides a direct pathway between our SUNY institutions for students to continue their education in nursing,” said Cheryl Shaffer, RN, PhD, Associate Dean, Suffolk County Community College School of Nursing. “Furthermore, our students can now ‘learn while they earn,’ with many taking advantage of employer tuition assistance and flexible working hours provided for RN’s pursuing a BS degree in nursing.”
In order for students to move directly into the Stony Brook program from Suffolk Community College, they must maintain the criteria for the Nursing First Program. Admission requirements include maintaining a 3.1 GPA or higher and earning a grade C or higher in all required courses for the Associate of Science Degree in Nursing.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Stony Brook School of Nursing and Suffolk Community College will remain in effect for three years. In the fall of 2020, the faculty leaders of Nursing First and both higher education institutions will assess the program, with the intent of extending the agreement and making any necessary adjustments to strengthen it academically and enhance its value to students.
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