St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) has over a century in providing health care. The Medical center was founded in 1874 by the Sisters of St Francis of the Third Order in Philadelphia. It was opened with the aim of meeting the health care needs of Trenton residents. 1905, 30 years after its establishment, the medical center opened the St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing. It was a hospital-based program that awarded students a diploma in nursing. Both the school and the Medical center are strongly affiliated to the Catholic Health East and supported by the Hope Ministries.
Nursing Program at St. Francis Medical Center
The nursing program initially started as a hospital-based nurses training program. Currently St. Francis offers a joint nursing program with Mercer Community College. The program prepares students to become registered nurses (RN) by taking courses from both institutions. Three entry options are available: an extended program, a generic track and a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to RN track. St. Francis and Mercer Community College are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
The Generic Program
The generic program is designed for recent high school graduates with no prior nursing experience but have completed all prerequites courses. The program accepts students each fall semester and continues for a period of 2 years of year- round study i.e including 2 summer sessions. Normally, all nursing courses are taught by faculty members of St. Francis Medical Center while general education courses are taught by Mercer County Community College (MCCC) faculty.
The curriculum consists of 70 credits: 40 for nursing courses offered by St Francis and 30 for general education offered by MCCC. As a cooperative program, students who successfully complete the program are awarded a nursing diploma from St Francis Medical Center and an associate degree in nursing from MCCC. Graduates also become eligible to apply and write the NLCEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.
This track is designed for high graduates who wish to join college but have not completed nursing school prerequisites. This plan takes 3 years whereby, the first year is dedicated to prerequisites courses offered by MCCC. After the 1st year, students begin on the study plan similar to the generic program. Just like the generic track, students graduate with a diploma and associate degree and become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.
LPN to RN Track Program
This track is designed for LPN who wishes to become registered nurses. Candidates must have valid New Jersey practical nurse licensure and at least one year clinical experience in acute, rehab or sub-acute care centers. Qualified candidates take a 9-credit LPN Nursing Transition course for which they receive 17 credits towards the associate and diploma awards. The track takes one year including a summer semester to complete. Practical nurses must complete all nursing courses within ten months after the first one. Completion leads to eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN exam to make the transition to professional nursing.
St. Francis Medical Center
601 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton,