Kaitlyn Tambasco-Assistant News Editor
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science and Nursing Program made its debut in 2013 at Utica College’s Syracuse location. The program is designed to provide students with a professional foundation that combines nursing theory along with skills that are required for nursing practice.
This year, the college has opened up additional sites in St. Petersburg-Tampa and Miramar.
“The college created the program in response to the critical nursing shortage,” said Polly Smith, vice president for Online and Extended Studies. “As the nursing shortage continued to grow, so too did the waitlist for nursing students across the country.”
The nursing faculty developed an innovative curriculum designed to infuse highly qualified and trained nurses into the health care system in an expedited manner in order to address the workforce shortage. In addition, the overall involvement in the program has increased, she said.
Smith also said that more than anything else, this program makes sense. She believes that responding to workforce and societal needs is in Utica College’s DNA.
“At a time when many universities were cutting nursing programs in the face of budget cuts, UC was uniquely positioned to address the nursing shortage,” Smith said. “Our nursing program, at the time, was very strong, and the addition of the ABSN program has made it even stronger; it has also been a nice complement to our other nursing program offerings.”
In addition, the ABSN program has played an important role in growing the college’s enrollment and reputation. The program also benefits the main campus.
“For private institutions like Utica College that are comparatively young institutions with modest endowments, enrollment is the largest source of financial resources,” Smith said. “Additional resources benefit the entire institution in many ways, from funding campus improvements to holding down tuition.”
According to the ABSN Handbook, before entering the program, students must have completed 60 credits of liberal arts courses and admission courses. They must have a minimum of 65 credits to transfer and have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher. They must also maintain that GPA if accepted into the program. A grade of a B- is required in science admission courses, a grade of C is required in liberal arts courses and a C+ is required in all nursing courses.
Applicants who have previously been enrolled in another nursing program must submit two letters of recommendation from faculty in the program with their application.