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Siena College, Maria College To Offer Joint 4-Year Nursing Education Program



LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena College and Maria College announced today that they will offer a dual degree program in nursing, combining both colleges’ commitment to a holistic approach to nursing and the mindful delivery of authentic patient-centered care.

The four-year program, recently approved by the New York State Education Department, will award an associate of science in nursing at the end of the junior year, and a bachelor of science in nursing at the end of the senior year. Students will be able to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become registered nurses (RN) once they receive their associate’s degree at the end of their third year of study.

“Siena College and Maria College both offer top-rated, college-based nursing programs, and given our proximity to each other it makes sense for us to collaborate to prepare future generations of nurses,” said Margaret E. Madden, Ph.D., interim president of Siena. “With the increasing demand for baccalaureate prepared nurses, there is a rising demand for a joint program like this, which combines the best of both worlds – a four-year liberal arts education with practical experience in clinical settings.”

“We are honored to welcome the Siena students from the Baldwin Nursing School to join the Maria community as part of their undergraduate education. Maria has an outstanding reputation in healthcare centers throughout the Capital Region, and 50 year of history in educating and training nurses,” said Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D., president of Maria College. “Siena has become a close institutional friend of Maria’s, which is only natural given the alignment of the Franciscan and Mercy missions. This nursing partnership will allow each of our institutions to use our strengths to give students the best possible education for a career that is in-demand in our region.”

Students will spend their freshman year on Siena’s Loudonville campus for core nursing and liberal arts courses. In their sophomore and junior years, they will attend classes at Maria’s newly-upgraded McAuley teaching and learning facility in Albany, which includes state-of-the-art nursing skills and simulation labs. They will also participate in clinical rotations at the top hospitals and health care centers throughout the Capital Region. Senior year will see the students back at Siena for upper-level nursing courses and nursing outreach in the community.

Both colleges are nationally accredited in nursing education: Siena by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing education (CCNE), and Maria by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

“For two crucial years of their nursing education, Siena students will be fortunate to take advantage of Maria’s high-tech learning and simulation labs to receive practical experience to complement their liberal arts education,” said Lisa Lally Flack, D.N.S., director of the Baldwin Nursing Program at Siena. “The dual degree program is seamless, with only one application. Siena’s traditional courses and caring science nursing curriculum support the values and knowledge necessary to build a compassionate career based on service and leadership.”

“Our faculty is delighted to begin this partnership,” said Russell Blair, D.N.P., associate chair of nursing at Maria. “For two of their four years as undergraduates, the Siena cohort will be fully integrated in Maria’s challenging RN program, studying and working alongside some of the best nurse educators and fellow students in the top medical facilities in our region. This is an excellent collaboration, not only for our schools, but for nursing education in the Capital Region.”

Siena has a similar agreement with the Belanger School of Nursing at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady that was established in fall of 2017. Students applying to Siena to study nursing will select either the Maria College or Belanger School option at the time of application.

Both colleges also offer B.S. completion programs for existing registered nurses (RNs) looking to follow the nationwide trend for nurses to be educated at a minimum of the baccalaureate level.

Siena College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college in the Franciscan and Catholic tradition. Founded in 1937, Siena offers nearly 40 majors, 80-plus minors and certificates, and prestigious joint-degree programs in liberal arts, science and business. A wide range of student activities join with immersive service learning, research opportunities, extensive study abroad options and an NCAA Division I athletic program in providing more than 3,000 students the opportunity to prepare for a lifetime of making a difference.

Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves approximately 800 students in a variety of bachelor degree, associate degree, and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy assistant, and health and occupational sciences.

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