University of Rochester School of Nursing Opens Satellite Campus at Canandaigua's Veterans Affairs Hospital

October 26, 1999

Starting today, nurses in Canandaigua and the Finger Lakes region can earn their baccalaureate degree from the University of Rochester School of Nursing in their own backyard. The School opened a satellite campus at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Canandaigua to reach nurses in this area.

The University of Rochester's RN to BS program offers experienced nurses a faster route to a bachelor's degree, credits for experience, and accommodating class times in the late afternoon and early evening. The new bachelor's degree curriculum is part of the strategic plan announced by the School in the spring.

"In looking closely at how we could improve our program and strengthen educational opportunities for nurses, we realized the need to bring the classroom closer to the students," says Victoria Hines, associate dean for administration and finance at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. "We've been in discussions with the VA Health Care Network of Upstate New York, as well as F.F. Thompson Hospital, to learn how to meet their needs. Both have shown strong interest in the program."

The program is open to any nurse in the five-county area, but is especially beneficial to nurses working at the VA. A federal mandate now requires nurses working in veterans' hospitals to have their baccalaureate in nursing by 2004 in order to advance in their clinical ladder system. The VA is providing the space for the satellite program to make it easier for their nurses and nurses from the community to complete their BS degree.

"This is an exciting opportunity for RNs working at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center and F.F. Thompson Health System," says W. David Smith, VA Medical Center Director. "The University of Rochester School of Nursing has been able to tailor a program that will lead to improved patient care at our facilities and schedule the courses to meet the work schedules of our employees."

The full program begins in January and does not require any clinical work. This week students at Rochester and Canandaigua campuses begin "portfolio" seminars in which students can earn academic credit for prior experience. These seven-week seminars assist students in developing a portfolio of their prior work or educational experience which they can submit for up to six additional credits.

Both the VA and F.F. Thompson Hospitals have enrollment applications in their nursing education departments. For more information on the program, or to request an enrollment application, call the University of Rochester School of Nursing Admissions Office at (716) 275-2375.

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