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Master’s Entry into Nursing program to expand to Waterbury, Stamford

by Sherry Fisher - November 5, 2007

UConn’s full-time accelerated Master’s Entry into Nursing program has been approved for expansion to the Waterbury and Stamford campuses.

The expansion was recently approved by the state Board of Governors for Higher Education.

The program, which started at the Storrs campus in 2003, is aimed at helping ease the state’s nursing shortage.

Candidates are now being interviewed for faculty positions at the Waterbury campus, says Carol Polifroni, associate dean of the School of Nursing.

If faculty are hired by January, the program will begin then, she says, although the program will not start as quickly in Stamford.

The 45-credit nursing program takes 11 months to complete and is geared for those who hold bachelor’s degrees or higher in fields other than nursing. It culminates in a certificate that allows students to take the licensing exam in Connecticut and enroll in the master’s program in nursing at UConn.

Students are in class nine hours a week and are in a clinical setting – working in hospitals and clinics – for 21 hours a week.

Polifroni says the program is important because the state Department of Labor projects there will be 11,000 too few registered nurses by 2010.

“Anything we can do to increase the number of graduates will help,” she says. “Also, our main program began in Storrs in 2003, and we’ve never been able to meet the demand for seats within that curriculum.”

Since the program started, all but one person has graduated, and by December of this year, some 150 students will have graduated.

“There’s no other program in the country that can say that,” says Polifroni. “The Department of Higher Education recognized that this was a very good model.”

Polifroni says the applicant pool shows there is significant interest in the Master’s Entry into Nursing from the western and southern portions of the state.

That’s why Waterbury and Stamford were chosen as sites to expand the program.

Those admitted to the program must have graduated from an undergraduate program with a 3.0 or better GPA.

They also need to have earned a B or better in prerequisite science courses.

“All the evidence we have indicates that prior academic success is the best predictor of future academic success,” says Polifroni.

Those who have participated in the Storrs program range in age from their early 20s to their 50s, and have earned undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields.

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