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August 15, 2023

St. Francis College’s Mission in Action: Nurses for a Growing Diverse Population

For 40 years, St. Francis College (SFC) has been committed to graduating the highest-quality diverse nursing professionals through its Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited program.

In perfect alignment with its centuries-old Franciscan mission and foundational values of social justice and inclusion, the College has been providing a diverse nursing population that improves the quality of care that local communities deserve. Utilizing the four key concepts of nursing theory and practice ― person, environment, health and nursing itself ― students are immersed in identifying social determinants of health with the cultural competence necessary in caring for their patients in the communities where they live. If we learned anything from COVID, it is that nurses were at the forefront of the most critical health care needs. Nurses across the globe rose to the occasion selflessly and under immense pressure and were at the epicenter of life, death, care, communication, family and hope. The College’s commitment to nursing has never been stronger.

Nursing candidates enrolled in the SFC program perfectly mirror the populations they serve. Currently, the SFC pre-licensure nursing undergraduate enrollment profile is as follows:

Nursing Enrollment Profile

There has been an increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation’s population since 2010. This is demonstrated locally in the Borough of Brooklyn, with Kings County scoring a Diversity Index of 74.8%, according to the most recent U.S. census (2020). SFC’s student population hails from several countries as well as the tri-state area.

A landmark report published in 2003 by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and the follow-up report, issued in 2009 and titled The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, revealed that race and ethnicity remain significant predictors of the quality of health care a patient of similar race and ethnicity receives. Moreover, a culturally diverse workforce could help promote enhanced treatment compliance through effective communication and overall interaction with patients of all backgrounds. Health care providers can offer culturally assimilated care to patients who share their race or ethnicity, thus eliminating disparities in quality and promoting better health outcomes for all.

Besides offering a stellar academic program for future nurses, SFC boasts state-of-the-art laboratories at its modern, custom-built campus located on three sprawling floors at 179 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. These include:

  • an operating room
  • an examination room
  • a delivery room
  • pediatric cribs
  • a 10-bed simulated hospital unit
  • simulated patient models

In addition, students have access to supplemental simulation-based learning experiences (SBLE), such as virtual hospitals and HealthAssess, to enhance their learning while applying theory to practice. Among the institutions with which SFC has clinical affiliations and placements are:

  • Staten Island University Hospital
  • Bellevue Hospital
  • The Brooklyn Hospital Center
  • Kings County Hospital
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Maimonides Medical Center

Some of the hospitals in which graduates of SFC’s RN-to-B.S. program and its generic four-year B.S. in nursing program currently practice include:

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Wyckoff Hospital
  • Kings County Hospital
  • Northwell Health

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law historic legislation that will permit nursing programs such as SFC’s to utilize SBLE for students to complete up to one-third of the required clinical hours needed to obtain a nursing degree. The College’s nursing facilities are perfectly suited for this. Overseen by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)’s division of nursing education, these simulated lab experiences effectively replicate cases nurses will face in the field, preparing them for real-world, life-saving situations. SFC’s nursing candidates utilize their critical-thinking and clinical-judgement skills to make determinations and assessments, the same way a registered nurse would. SFC nursing students receive the hands-on education and practice they need in a safe environment, supporting New York State to better meet its growing critical demand for nurses. The state is projected to face a shortage of almost 40,000 nurses by 2030.

“The American Nurses Association defines the practice of nursing as the ‘protection, promotion and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities and populations.’ With such a diverse nursing student body and the implementation of enhanced SBLE, St. Francis College nursing students will be well-prepared to deliver safe and world-class nursing care well into the 21st century,” said Patricia Facquet, assistant professor and chair of SFC’s nursing department.

If you are interested in applying to the St. Francis College nursing program, or if you know someone who might be, SFC would love to meet with you to discuss all it has to offer. Please fill out this form and someone will contact you.

Editor’s note: St. Francis College’s undergraduate pre-licensure and RN/B.S. in nursing programs are registered and authorized by NYSED. Both programs are accredited by the prestigious Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Get to know a recent graduate of SFC’s nursing program, spring 2023 valedictorian Melissa Gonzalez.

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