Genesee Community College Board of Trustees Approves Upgrades to Nursing Curriculum

Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a series of curriculum changes to the College’s Nursing Program at its regular meeting Monday evening. The changes, presented to trustees by Nursing Program Director Kathleen M. Hankel, were previously approved by the Academic Senate.

The changes will help nursing students better prepare for the challenges they will face in today’s health care environment, Ms. Hankel told the Board of Trustees. Nursing students will now be required to complete 71 credit hours of instruction, up from the current 69 credit hours. A three-credit Fine Arts/Humanities requirement and a two-credit physical education/health requirement have been dropped. “Health education is very well integrated into the entire curriculum,” Ms. Hankel said. Additionally all nursing students complete CPR and child abuse reporting training as part of their degree requirements.

A new three-credit Pharmacology course has been added to the Math/Science requirement, and the College’s six core nursing courses, totaling 37 credits, have been expanded to seven courses, totaling 41 credits. Nursing students must still complete nine credit hours of social sciences, but the social science requirement will include a new three-credit course, Developmental Psychology Across the Lifespan.

Ms. Hankel also reported on a number of other changes occurring in the College’s Nursing Program. They include:
• Additional opportunities for licensed practical nurses to enter the nursing program. Several courses are being scheduled at times convenient to LPNs.
• New clinical sites added at Erie County Medical Center and Rochester Psychiatric Center. Students work with experienced nurses at these and other clinical sites prior to graduation.
• Scheduling of some nursing classes in the Conable Technology Building due to a continuing space shortage.
• Study of the possibility of admitting students to the program twice each year. A faculty proposal for twice-annual admissions will probably be presented within the next several months, and could allow the College to increase the number of incoming students by about 40. About 72 students are now admitted annually to the College’s Nursing program.

Nursing continues to be a popular program among students, Ms. Hankel reported, and labor projections suggest that nurses will continue to be in great demand in the years ahead. Currently, the program has 266 applications from prospective students on file.