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Healthcare Professions Becomes New Focus of School of Nursing

September 26, 2016

In order to meet the demands of the changing healthcare landscape, The College of New Rochelle is expanding its School of Nursing to include coursework and degrees in other medical and health-related disciplines. The new School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions reflects the evolution of career opportunities in medical care and social services throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and beyond.

“Since its founding in 1976, the College’s School of Nursing has developed a reputation for academic excellence in preparing nurses for successful careers and is now the preeminent institution for nursing education in the region,” said President Judith Huntington. “With this expansion, we build on that reputation to broaden the spectrum of course offerings and strategically position The College of New Rochelle as a leader in healthcare-related education.”

The move by CNR to expand its offerings in healthcare and related fields comes in response to the massive job growth anticipated in this sector of the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in healthcare will outpace other sectors of the economy through 2020. It also suggests that healthcare and social assistance will account for 5.6 million of the 20.5 million anticipated jobs in 2020. Employment in healthcare support occupations is predicted to grow most rapidly, at 34.5 percent, followed by personal care and services occupations at 26.8 percent, and healthcare practitioner and technical jobs at 25.9 percent.

The College is well positioned to expand its School of Nursing, now under the leadership of Dean H. Michael Dreher. Since coming to CNR in 2014, Dreher has worked with the faculty to implement a more stringent and rigorous nursing curriculum to better prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and provide more demanding, contemporary preparation in other healthcare disciplines. A Master of Science in Nursing Education program was re-implemented this spring, and a revised, innovative, progressive Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum will be introduced in June. The expansion is part of a six-year strategic plan, led by Dreher, which will introduce several new undergraduate and graduate level programs in a variety of healthcare-related fields.

The expanded School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions also will allow for the development of interprofessional healthcare education (IPE), a team-based approach that is now considered critical for improved healthcare outcomes. While many schools struggle to retrofit their curricula to facilitate interprofessional learning, The College of New Rochelle will be able to integrate IPE from the ground up, with students in nursing and other healthcare-oriented programs learning together in certain common courses.

“We are very excited about a new School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions,” said  Dreher. “Preparing nursing graduates who learn to deliver the highest quality care has been our mission since 1976. Now, we will be able to educate clinicians and practitioners in a multitude of areas where interprofessional education and care of the whole patient and family will be preeminent in our innovative, modern curricula.”

The School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions will offer programs for undergraduate and graduate students of all backgrounds, including traditional and transfer students, as well as those looking to change careers and registered nurses seeking to advance their education. The School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions belongs to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Its bachelor's and master's degrees and post-master's certificates are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through 2023. All programs at The College of New Rochelle are registered and approved by the New York State Education Department.