History of the College of Nursing
Janice Nelson, EdD, RN
First Registered Nurses
Graduate in 1959
To meet the shortage of nurses, the State University of New York Upstate Medical University initiated an Associate's Degree Program in 1959. More than 500 registered nurses were graduated from the program between 1959 and 1976.
Nurse Practitioner Program Implemented, 1974
In 1974, as a response to the need for primary care nurses, a Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program was implemented. This program was supported primarily by federal grant monies. Over 300 Nurse Practitioners were graduated; many of them remained at Upstate Medical University upon graduation and are still here today.
1984 Brings Degree program Expansion
In the fall of 1984, a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Program (BS/MS) was offered by the Department of Nursing of University Hopital at Upstate. Seventeen full-time students were enrolled in the first class. Enrollment grew, and the College of Nursing was initially established in 1986, with Dr. M. Janice Nelson appointed as the first dean. Her mission was to expand the services offered by the new College of Nursing and in 1988 a separate Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was established.
In 1991, the National League for Nursing granted full initial accreditation to both the Bachelor of Science and the combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Programs, which furthered the prestige of nursing educational excellence provided by the College of Nursing.
Implementation of a Clinical Nurse Specialists and Master of Science Programs
1992 saw the implementation of a separate Master of Science Nursing Program to prepare Clinical Nurse Specialists. The programs continued unchanged until 1994 when the College of Nursing received a $500,000 grant from the State of New York to create and implement a Master of Science Program. This program was designed to prepare Advanced Practice Nurses for the role of Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner. Successful completion of this project has given the College of Nursing the ability to offer the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Post Master's Advanced Certificate nursing programs.
Elvira Szigeti, PhD, RN
In 1996, educational excellence was reaffirmed with the continuing award of accreditation by the National League for Nursing for a period of eight years. In 2004, the college was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the maximum period of ten years. Application for reaccreditation will be in 2014.
2007 - 2012
In 2007, the college re-opened the RN to MS option. This option enables qualified students to complete the BS and MS degrees in three years of full-time study.
Because there is a lack of mental health care providers in the region, the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP) program was opened in 2009. This program educates nurse practitioners to care for patients with mental health disorders across the lifespan.
The curricula at all levels are continually revised to keep up with the current trends and the changing healthcare environment. Courses in information, quality and safety were added at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Many courses are being delivered in an on-line learning environment to accommodate the needs of working nurses and those living a distance from campus.
Joyce Griffin-Sobel, PhD, RN
2013 and Beyond...
In fall 2013, the College started a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which is the first in the area. This degree will provide new opportunities for innovation and collaboration in areas such as population focused healthcare, quality and safety, and systems thinking.
Joyce Griffin-Sobel, PhD, RN
Dean, College of Nursing
The College of Nursing educates nurses throughout their careers. In addition to clinical practice, our students also have opportunities to teach and conduct research.
Thank you for your interest in the College of Nursing. Please contact us if you would like more information, preadmission advisement, other materials or assistance. We look forward to working with you!