Nurses Week at the Nation’s Largest Nursing School 39,000 Excelsior Nursing Grads Touch the Lives of 372 Million Patients
Albany, N.Y. (May 11, 2011) – In celebration of National Nurses Week (May 6-12) Excelsior College, home to the largest school of nursing in the country, acknowledges the significant role its graduates play in meeting the nation’s health care needs.
In Excelsior’s 40-year history, more than 44,600 men and women have earned their degrees in nursing from the College. Among them, 38,800 earned associate degrees and during their careers these graduates will have touched the lives of 372 million patients – more than the current population of the United States.
According to research conducted by Dr. Christine Kovner of the New York University College of Nursing, over a typical 30-year career, a registered nurse (RN) will have cared for 14,400 patients. Excelsior’s estimate of 372 million is based on the number of its associate degree nursing graduates– the minimum academic requirement for entry-level registered nurses – and is adjusted to reflect the fact that the College only admits adults to this program who have prior clinical health care experience. These graduates enter the RN workforce later than traditional nursing school graduates.
“The impact our nursing graduates will have had on the health care needs of our nation is astounding,” said Excelsior College President Dr. John Ebersole. “Our associate degree nursing graduates come to us as experienced professionals such as licensed practical nurses, paramedics and military corpsmen. After they graduate and begin their careers as RNs, they bring with them a level of maturity and well-developed critical thinking skills, important added benefits to those they care for and with whom they will work.” About 2,000 individuals earn an associate degree in nursing from Excelsior each year, further enhancing the effect its graduates will have on America’s health care well into the future.
In addition to preparing registered nurses to provide direct patient care, Excelsior is playing a key role in producing administrators and informatics leaders as well as much-needed nursing faculty through its master’s programs. More than 5,800 individuals have earned their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Excelsior, many of whom first earned their associate degrees from the College.
As reported in the January/February issue of New York Nurse, Dr. Kovner cites an estimated 900 faculty vacancies among nursing schools with bachelor’s programs and suggests that a single nursing faculty member can help prepare 7,500 nurses.
The Excelsior College School of Nursing is the largest in the nation and was established in the mid 1970’s by nursing scholars under grants from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. It is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and has been designated as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education – one of only 17 nationwide – by the National League for Nursing. The school is also home to the Tau Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing and has been recognized as a Best School for Men by the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.