Troy College Investing $2 Million To Expand Nursing Program
By Liz Young – Albany Business Review
Hudson Valley Community College will invest $2 million to expand its nursing program with a one-year, accelerated option. The program option is intended to help students enter the workforce more rapidly.
Students who already earned a bachelor's degree are eligible for the one-year advanced placement option. The option condenses four core nursing classes into three semesters, and graduates earn an associate degree.
The new Hudson Valley program is one of just a few accelerated associate programs for nursing students in the state, says Carol Bosco, dean of the School of Health Sciences.
"There's no opportunity for people who have credits toward a nursing degree and could operate within a nursing program to move any faster than two years," Bosco said. "It's really very cutting edge. It is very exciting."
Nurses are in high demand. In New York, there will be a need for an estimated 193,000 nurses by 2025.
The program option will begin next year with nine students, with plans to grow from there. The college receives more than 1,000 applications each year for its existing 100 nursing spots.
About 2,750 square feet of existing lab space at Hudson Valley's Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center in Troy will be renovated to accommodate the additional students. Envision Architects of Albany and GPI, headquartered in Babylon, New York, will work on the renovations. Construction will begin around the holiday break and be completed by summer 2019.
The program is one of the Capital Region Economic Development Council's priority projects for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's eighth-annual state money competition. Hudson Valley is asking Empire State Development for a grant of $381,134 toward the total $2 million project cost.
Hudson Valley may eventually hire more faculty members for the program, Bosco said.
The college is talking with SUNY Empire State College about potentially creating an additional accelerated option where students could continue on to earn a bachelor's in nursing. Nurses in New York state are now required by law to earn a bachelor's within 10 years of becoming licensed, with some exceptions.
Hudson Valley is the second-largest college in the Albany region with 10,791 students enrolled this fall. Tuition for a full-time student who lives in New York state is $2,325 per semester.
Other schools in the Albany region are also investing in their nursing programs, including Maria College in Albany, which plans to double its nursing program capacity in the coming years.