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SUNY Upstate, OCC, and CCC Create Guaranteed Path to Four-Year Nursing Degree

Scott Willis
WAER-FM 88.3

Nursing students at two Central New York Community Colleges have a new path to a four-year degree and the opportunity for employment.  Monday, presidents from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Cayuga Community College, and Onondaga Community College signed agreements to create a dual-admission Registered Nurse Bachelor’s Degree program.   

OCC president Dr. Casey Crabill says partnering with Upstate will help nursing students follow a clear educational path.

"They understand that the Associate degree is a great first step.  But as they envision a full career in nursing, that they need to move on for a Bachelor's Degree.  What can we do to make it really clear what it takes to move along the full continuum so the students don't have to apply to something every couple years."

Second-year CCC RN student Madison Sacco says she planned to go to Upstate, but it wasn't a given.

"Once you complete your Associate nursing degree, it's kind of cloudy from there as to where you go to get your Bachelor's degree.  Really, all you're focused on is getting that RN certification.  After having your institution partner with Upstate, it just makes it so clear, and you know there's an opportunity there for you to go, and it's easy to take."

Upstate Interim President Dr. Mantosh Dewan says they've tried to eliminate any barriers.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3
WAER-FM 88.3
Second-year CCC RN student Madison Sacco says the dual-admission program will make it seamless for her to continue her education.

"It's also important to note that after the two years at either of the community colleges, a nurse can actually work and continue earn a Bachelor's.  It really is seamless, it's inexpensive, and works for everyone in the region."

Dewan says Upstate will guarantee an interview for those completing the program.  CCC President Dr. Brian Durant says it's helpful to have a larger brand identity to support the greater need for nurses.

"We know the awareness of the need and training in preparing people for the health care field.  This particular pathyway will provide clarity to our students and support multiple employers."

The program begins this fall.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at