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St. Joseph School of Nursing to Launch New Two Year Curriculum

St. Joseph School of Nursing is launching a revised two year curriculum in fall 2016 to better align with national trends in nursing education and new federal regulations regarding lifetime learning credits. The School of Nursing has worked closely with a nationally-recognized nurse educator consultant to update and revise the current curriculum. The new curriculum is a modified concept-based model that will enhance the synthesis and application of entry level nursing knowledge and align with the new focus of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam.

Students will complete all the college level general education courses prior to acceptance at St. Joseph School of Nursing. The nursing component will require four semesters of full time study, with increased emphasis placed in the areas of teamwork, collaboration, pharmacology, gerontology, and informatics. The new curriculum is being launched in response to new federal regulations regarding lifetime learning credits and national trends in nursing education.

The school receives accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approval for operation as a school via the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Post-Secondary Education and the United States Department of Education (USDOE). Many of the students are the recipients of federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants, through Title IV funding.

The ACEN Board of Commissioners directed that all ACEN-accredited diploma nursing programs decrease program length to a maximum of 90 credit hours by July 1, 2016. Following a complete review of the St. Joseph School of Nursing curriculum, the decision was made to modernize utilizing the framework identified by the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing:  Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011), with quality and efficiency remaining the cornerstones. 

The new curriculum is a modified concept-based model that will enhance the synthesis and application of entry level nursing knowledge and align with the new focus of the NCLEX exam. The program will be reduced from 146 credits to 77 total credits, of which 27 are general education pre-requisite credits and 50 are nursing credits. 

Students will complete all the college level general education courses prior to acceptance at St. Joseph School of Nursing.  The nursing component will require four semesters of full time study, with increased emphasis placed in the areas of teamwork, collaboration, pharmacology, gerontology, and informatics.   With these changes, the length of time in the program and financial burden for the students will be reduced, while students continue to benefit from seamless transition to baccalaureate education via articulation agreements. 

Prospective student interest has been high at the monthly admission information sessions offered at the school.  Many of the applicants are second degree students seeking a different or more rewarding career path, while others are first generation students. With many choices of nursing programs available in Rhode Island, those who select St. Joseph’s School of Nursing consistently emphasize the smaller class size and faculty dedication to student success.