Binghamton University Nursing School Review

Initially located in Endicott, Binghamton University (BU, Bing) was established in 1946 with the aim of educating war veterans returning from the Second World War. During its establishments, it was known as Triple Cities College: a young branch of Syracuse University. In 1950, the college became part of the State University of New York (SUNY) and adopted the name Harpur College. In 1992, Harpur College adopted the informal name Binghamton University still under the SUNY system and had by then, relocated to the current site in Binghamton.

Nursing Programs at Binghamton University

Binghamton University has numerous nursing programs to offer to qualified candidates under the Decker School of Nursing. The nursing school has programs ranging from bachelor degrees all the way to the two terminal degrees in nursing: Doctor of Nursing and PhD. It has generic, accelerated and baccalaureate degree completion options depending on the education level of the prospective candidates. Binghamton University also has a number of Continuing education options for registered nurses seeking contact hours or professional development. All programs in the school of nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

At the undergraduate level, Decker School of Nursing offers about 6 degree tracks all leading to the award of the Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees. The 6 tracks have a common curriculum but with many entry options. Therefore, the number of courses and duration are different depending on prior education of the students.

Freshman Program

The freshman nursing program at Decker school of nursing is open to all qualified high school graduates who do not have any prior college credits. It is a traditional 4-year program that moulds students to become registered nurses with a curriculum of general education and nursing courses of 128 credits: 52 nursing and 76 general, elective and pre-requisites. Students interested in the program must apply to the university during the fall of their senior year be eligible for selection.

Coursework is covered in the traditional classroom setting spanning 8 academic semesters on a full time basis. Successful completion of the required credit hours makes the students academically eligible to apply and write the NCLEX-RN exam for initial licensure as a registered nurse (RN). Besides, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The Transfer Program

The transfer program has a number tracks under it including the completion and accelerated options.

i) Traditional Transfer Program

The traditional transfer nursing program at the Decker school of nursing is designed for transfer students who have completed all general education and prerequisite courses for the BSN. Preferably, those from a 2-year pre-nursing program are the most suitable candidates for this program. Students are admitted at the junior level to start on nursing courses for another 2 years of 4 semesters. A minimum of 52 upper division nursing credits must be completed for students to become eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam for initial licensure and the award of the BSN degree.

ii) Associate Degree and Diploma Transfer Program for Licensed RN

This category carries the highest number of transfer programs under the undergraduate category. It is designed for RN graduates of accredited associate or diploma programs. All candidates for these tracks must show prove of an active and valid RN license during application. Registered nurses from diploma programs are required to complete Excelsior College Exams and earn 24 credits prior to making an application. Courses are offered in a hybrid format on online and classroom instructions and most are covered in 7-week cycles. Some selected courses are offered in a ‘live synchronous’ format.

Students have the options of choosing from the different periods of program completion from full time, accelerated or part time options.

The RN to BS Transfer Program Options:

  • Four-semester program for currently licensed RN

This plan is designed for registered nurses who wish to complete their BSN coursework in the traditional pace. Classes for this track start only in fall and spring semesters. RNs that take this route need not have completed the pre-requisite courses before starting the upper division nursing courses i.e. they can be taken in tandem. Up-to 4 nursing courses in the 300 level may be challenged by examination in a summer session prior to enrollment for students to receive credit-equivalence.

  • Three Semester Accelerated Plan

This RN to BS Accelerated 3-Semester Program Plan is designed for nurses who have completed all their prerequisite supporting courses. The coursework for this track is covered in summer, fall and spring semesters. All courses in the 1st summer semester can be challenged via examination to enable transfer of more credits of the upper division category. Nurses who opt to challenge the 4 level 300 courses require only 24 credits to earn a BSN degree while those who do not take a total of 32 credits.

  • Two Semester Accelerated Plan

This RN to BS Accelerated 2-semester plan; just like the 3 semester plan, is designed for registered nurses who do not have outstanding general education courses. The only difference with the prior plan is that students have a heavier workload for the 2 semesters. Students can still challenge up-to 4 level 300 nursing courses during the fall semester to enable coursework reduction. A total of 32 credits are required to be eligible for the BSN degree award or 24 credits for those who choose to take the challenge exams.

  • 6-Semester Part time Plan

This part time plan is designed for the registered nurses who wish to extend their study period over six semesters and is most suitable for working nurses. Those interested in this track must have completed their general education requirements before applying. Just all the other completion tracks above, 4 level 300 nursing courses may be challenged to receive additional credits.

iii) Baccalaureate Accelerated Track (BAT) Program


This program is meant for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing. Since most baccalaureate graduates have the required general education courses, students only need to take the 52 nursing major credits. Those who do not have the prerequisite courses can complete them at Binghamton or any other university or college of choice and this must be done prior to making the BAT application. The BAT is designed to be completed in 1 academic year consisting of 1 fall & spring semesters and summer I, II & III sessions. Admission and classes for this track start in the fall semester.

There is also a 2-year non-accelerated program for the same group of students as the BAT. Such students also take a curriculum of 52 nursing major credits and but on an extended period of time. Such students cover the required coursework in 4 usual fall and spring semesters; no summer sessions. Applicants must also have completed their general education courses at Binghamton University, a community college or any other accredited school.

Undergraduate Certificate Programs

The undergraduate nursing certificates at Decker School of Nursing are not specifically designed for nursing students but are also offered to students from other majors. Each certificate track has about 6-8 credits and are awarded separately from the BSN degree.

The 3 Forensics Health certificates options are designed with the intention of resume enrichment for the nursing graduates.

  • Certificate in Forensic Health: Focus on Adults
  • Certificate in Forensic Health: Focus on Children
  • Certificate in Forensic Health across the Lifespan

Dominican Republic Community Health Program

This program is part of the undergraduates and graduate degree programs and helps students to have an international nursing experience. Students who choose this program visit the Dominican Republic during the summer session for a period of 3 weeks. Students give direct care to patients in two rural and remote areas of the republic. After the program, participating students receive 6 credit hours towards their degrees.

Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, Master, Doctor of Nursing practice and PhD programs are offered

Master of Science in Nursing

Binghamton University offers four Master of Science in nursing (MSN) programs with a further option of 4 functional roles for each. The programs are:

  • Family Nursing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Programs
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing

These are the main MSN programs and each requires 48 credits to complete. Candidates must be BSN-prepared and must possess active and valid RN licenses to be eligible to apply. Basically, the curriculum for each program is designed to be completed in 2 years of full time. However, part time options of 3 or more years can be arranged upon request by the students. Those seeking credits transfer can only transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits.

In addition to the main tracks, students must choose from the below 4 functional areas to go along with any of the above chosen tracks:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist

Doctor in Nursing Practice

This research-based program is designed to both BSN and MSN prepared students. All students must be willing to take the Nurse Practitioners or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) functional roles in any of the following tracks:

  • Family Nursing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Programs
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing

However those choosing the CNS role do not have the Psychiatric Mental Health Program as an option. Post- baccalaureate entry students require 77 credits to be covered in 3 academic years while the post-master’s students require 38 credits to be covered in 2 academic years to complete the program. This plan is for the full time students and part time plans can be arranged on an individual basis. In addition to the RN licenses for both tracks, the post-baccalaureate entrants are required to have at least 1 year RN working experience.

PhD in Nursing

This research-based terminal nursing degree welcomes MSN-prepared students only unlike the DNP. It requires 48-50 credits designed to be completed in two academic years on a full time basis. A third year is required for completing and defending the dissertation. Part time options for the track are also available on an individualized basis.


The Binghamton University- Lifelong Enrichment and Advancement for Registered Nurses (BU-LEARN) is a program that helps RNs to earn contact hours for license renewal. The university is a fully approved through the New York State Nurses Association by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to offer continuing education for nurses.

The continuing education and outreach department of the Decker School of Nursing is mandated to offer the various online and traditional classroom courses for the RN. Some of the featured courses are those in forensic health listed below:

  • Forensic Health Essentials
  • Forensic Health of Offender
  • Forensic Health of Victims

Binghamton University – SUNY
4400 Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton,
NY 13905