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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 9:45am

sed seal                                                                                                                             






TO:                                                 The Higher Education Committee


FROM:                                         Frank Muñoz


SUBJECT:                             Master Plan:  Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing.


DATE:                                          March 27, 2008


STRATEGIC GOAL:             Goal 2






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


              Should the Regents approve the proposed master plan for the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing to offer a nursing program leading to the Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing?


Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by State Statute.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the Higher Education Committee at its April 2008 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its April 15, 2008 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


              Approval of master plans by the Board of Regents is required by section 237 of the Education Law.  Because this would be the institution’s initial authorization to award a degree, a master plan is necessary.


Background Information


              The Board of Trustees of Geneva General Hospital, at its June 28, 2006 meeting, adopted a resolution to authorize the establishment of Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing to offer instruction leading to the Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing. The proposed program supports Geneva General Hospital’s mission to emphasize an educational role that encourages the growth of people through support of medical, nursing and community education. Furthermore, the proposed program will offer an accessible program to adult learners who reside in rural communities of the Central Finger Lakes Region.  For over 30 years, Geneva General Hospital has supported the operation of the Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing.  The institution has requested registration of a nursing program leading to the Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing.


              The proposed program will be offered in an evening/weekend format.  The 68-credit program contains 38 credits in nursing course work that includes 675 clinical contact hours, and 30 credits of liberal arts and sciences course work, which will be provided by Keuka College as the joint registrant.  The liberal arts and sciences courses are divided into 12 credits in the biological sciences, 6 credits in English, 9 credits in the social and psychological sciences, and 3 credits in philosophy.  The program will be located on the grounds of Geneva General Hospital in recently renovated space that provides appropriate classroom, laboratory and office space.  All courses will be held at the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing site, except for the biological sciences laboratories, which will be taught on the nearby Keuka College campus.  


              Applicants must be high school graduates or have a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.  Additionally, applicants must have completed high school or college biology and chemistry within five years of application with a minimum grade of “C,” and completed two years of mathematics, at least one year being algebra, with a minimum grade of “C.”   The College anticipates enrolling 20 students in fall 2008.  In spring 2009, 10 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) will receive advanced placement into the second semester, with 8 nursing credits awarded for completion of an approved practical nursing program with a minimum average of 80 percent.  LPNs who apply for advanced placement will also need to provide evidence of 3 months of recent clinical nursing experience within the last 6 months, earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the National League for Nursing medication proficiency test or a minimum grade of “C” in an approved college level pharmacology course, and successfully demonstrate selected clinical skills.  Annual admissions will be limited to 20 students in the fall and 10 LPNs in the spring for the first 5 years of the program.


              The faculty for the proposed program consist of three full-time nursing faculty and a full-time Program Director, all of whom have master’s degrees in nursing.  One of the full-time faculty is enrolled in a doctoral program.  Adjunct faculty, who will be used as clinical instructors after the first year of operation, must have master’s degrees in nursing or be enrolled in such a program.  The non-nursing courses will be taught by faculty from Keuka College.


              Geneva General Hospital has renovated space in the Hospital for the program’s clinical skills laboratory, computer laboratory, faculty offices, conference rooms and student and faculty lounges.  Classrooms are located in a separate building that houses the Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing on land adjacent to the Hospital.  The practical nursing program is a day program so there will not be competition for space as the proposed program will be offered in an evening/weekend format.  In the first year of the program, the College’s operating budget of about $389,000 is projected to incur a deficit of about $134,000.  The operating deficit is expected to decrease to approximately $36,000 in the second year and disappear in the third year when revenues of about $651,000 are expected to exceed expenses by approximately $35,000.  Library resources will be available at Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing as well as online or on site through Keuka College, which has an upper-division baccalaureate nursing program, and until recently offered a licensure-qualifying baccalaureate nursing program.  Current library resources at the proposed College include about 500 books and 16 professional journal subscriptions that are specific to nursing.  Approximately $2,500 will be allocated annually for collection development.  Academic support services for non-nursing courses will be available through Keuka College.


              Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua is the closest institution in the Genesee Valley Region that offers a nursing program leading to the associate’s degree.   Currently, this program receives about 800 applications a year, but can enroll only about 10 percent of that number.  The proposed nursing program will prepare nurses to function as generalists and managers in health care agencies, as well as for further education.


              A canvass was conducted of all institutions in the Genesee Valley Region.  There were no objections to the proposed program.




              The Department has determined that the proposed nursing program meets the standards for registration as set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the proposed master plan of the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing authorizing the Finger Lakes Health College of Nursing to offer the Associate in Applied Science degree program in Nursing. This master plan would be effective until September 30, 2009, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case the master plan shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


              If the Board of Regents approves the master plan, the Department will register the program and the College will proceed to recruit and enroll program students.