By Jessica Reynolds Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — SUNY Delhi is on its way to offering the university’s first graduate degree program, college officials said Tuesday.
Kimberly MacLeod, director of communications and new media at SUNY Delhi, said the success of the school’s online RN to BSN program has allowed the school to offer the next step in nursing education, an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). She said the school has been considered a leader in nursing education for more than 75 years.
Earlier this month, the school’s online bachelor’s nursing program was ranked the No. 1 online bachelor’s degree program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings were based on student engagement, peer reputation, faculty credentials and student services and technology.
Dean of SUNY Delhi’s School of Nursing, Dr. Mary Pat Lewis, said the college recently received approval from the SUNY Board of Trustees to offer the online master’s program. The college is now pursuing approval from the Board of Regents, the State Education Department Division of the Budget and the governor.
“We still have some steps that need to be taken to get full approval,” Lewis said, “but the approval of the SUNY Board of Trustees is a huge step.”
Lewis said the case for the graduate program is “compelling” because it will help meet a critical need in the community.
“Delhi’s MSN program will help address a shortage of nurse educators that affects New York state and the nation,” Lewis said.
Lewis said a 2011-2013 report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing stated that nursing schools turned away more than 80,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs because of an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints. She said more than 5,000 prospective nursing students were turned away in New York State.
“The program will help fill that void,” Lewis said.
SUNY Delhi President Candace S. Vancko said the master’s degree, which will be entirely online, will represent a major milestone in the college’s history.
“The college has consistently been recognized as a Best Baccalaureate College in the nation and our online BSN was recently named the ‘best in the U.S,’” Vancko said. “Those successes have laid the groundwork to take the next step and offer our first master’s degree.”