College Partners with Cayuga Medical Center to Expand Nursing Program
Tompkins Cortland Community College and Cayuga Medical Center have formed a new collaborative agreement that will allow both institutions to better serve the community by expanding the College’s nursing program.
The agreement will allow the College to create a new evening nursing program based in Ithaca, starting in January 2022. Cayuga Medical Center will provide a total contribution of $237,474 to the College over four years, funding the additional nursing faculty needed to expand the program. The agreement will allow the College to accommodate 10 students that start in January 2022 and graduate in December 2023, and another 10 students starting in January 2024 and graduating in December 2025.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Tompkins Cortland Community College to help improve access to those who wish to further their education into the field of nursing,” said Martin Stallone, CEO of Cayuga Health. “These are unprecedented times for healthcare and the need for nurses has never been greater than it is now. We have worked closely with TC3 for many years, and we look forward to continuing to do so to the betterment of our community and the people we serve.”
Students will take all their general education requirements prior to beginning the nursing program, allowing them to complete the nursing requirements by taking classes and doing clinical visits just three nights per week. Professor Kim Sharpe, chair of the College’s nursing program, says the format of the new program will be attractive to a different group of people than the traditional degree program that starts in the fall each year. “Being able to offer all of the nursing classes and clinical hours during the evening is significant because it makes this an option for people who need to remain employed while they work toward their degree,” said Sharpe. “Our nursing program is rigorous, and our students need to be passionate and dedicated to succeed. But, for some, having to go to school during traditional hours is too much of an obstacle, so I’m thrilled this partnership will allow us to make getting a nursing degree more accessible.”
In addition to offering classes during the evening, another significant component of the new program is the timing. With the spring semester start, the College will graduate nurses in December, which is traditionally a time of year with few new nurses entering the workforce. “The College is constantly reassessing the programs we offer to make sure we are aligned with the needs of our communities,” said Provost and Administrator in Charge of the College Paul Reifenheiser. “Our nursing program is very much in demand, both by potential students and by employers looking to hire our graduates. We have a long-standing and highly valued relationship with Cayuga Medical Center, with generations of our nursing students doing their clinical hours and, quite often, finding employment with them. We share a common goal of serving our community, and this is a great new chapter in our partnership.”
“Nurses play such a vital role in the care of our patients and this collaboration speaks to Cayuga Health’s commitment to the profession,” said Tali Edge, Chief Nursing Officer of Cayuga Medical Center. “This is also a great opportunity for those in the program to see what an excellent team we have as well as the available career paths available to them at Cayuga Medical Center. We couldn’t be prouder to be able to help train the next generation of nurses.”