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Nursing program at St. Bonaventure University bolstered by $200,000 state grant

Sep 22, 2020
St. Bonaventure has received a $200,000 grant from the New York Department of Labor to bolster its R.N. to B.S. in Nursing program.
The grant was part of $9 million awarded by the state last week as part of its Workforce Development Initiative. The WDI funding supports strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, improves regional talent pipelines, expands apprenticeships, and addresses the long-term needs of expanding industries.
The university applied for the grant as part of the WDI’s Unemployed/Underemployed Worker Training Program, which was established to provide occupational skills training to unemployed or underemployed people to qualify them for full- or part-time employment or, if currently employed, a higher level of employment.
“The significance of this grant, for both the university and the Cattaraugus County community, is the removal of a substantial barrier for committed nurses in our community to increase their education, patient skills and clinical knowledge to offer a higher level of nursing care,” said Dr. Doug Pisano, professor and founding dean of the School of Health Professions. 
The grant money will cover all tuition and textbooks for five students in the two-year nursing program, which launched in 2019 in the university’s School of Health Professions.
“The target population is associate-prepared registered nurses living or working in Cattaraugus County with a special focus on veterans, single parents, and older individuals,” said Dr. Connie Perkins, founding director of the RN to B.S. in Nursing program.
While associate-prepared registered nurses are entry-level healthcare providers skilled in patient care, literature has reiterated the need for an increase in education through baccalaureate nursing degrees to improve patient outcomes, Perkins said.
According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies, only 31% of registered nurses in Western New York have a bachelor’s as their highest nursing degree.
All courses in SBU’s RN to B.S. in Nursing program are flexible and cater to working adults. 
“Achieving a bachelor of science in nursing is transferrable industrywide,” Perkins said. “In a regional sense, having a bachelor of science in nursing allows graduates to qualify for management positions as well, which represents an additional industry opportunity not commonly available to associate prepared nurses.”
For more information on applying to the program, email Perkins at or call her at (716) 375-2253.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.