St. John Fisher College Nursing Program Review

St. John Fisher College (SJFC) was founded in 1948 by the Basilian Fathers and was a male-only college at that time. It became coeducational in 1971. Saint John Fisher is a small college with around 2,900 students enrolled. The college offers 32 undergraduate majors, 12 master’s degree programs, and 3 doctoral programs. Wegmans School of Nursing at the college offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in nursing.

Nursing Programs

Traditional Nursing BS Program

St. John Fisher College offers a traditional nursing program that leads to a Bachelor of Science (BS) in nursing. This program is for students who are directly out of high school or older students without any college courses. The advantage of attending St. John Fisher College is that in the first two years at the college, students follow the undergraduate Nursing curriculum. This involves completing the college core courses and prerequisite liberal arts and science courses. Students also participate in non-credit nursing seminars. Since the first two years do not include clinical practice in medical settings, students in the nursing program are free to pursue trips abroad and special outreach programs at St. John Fisher. Groups of nursing students and some of the nursing teaching staff take part in projects, such as going to Kenya to provide immunizations and basic health care.

Students are admitted to the nursing program in their junior year, and they begin studying nursing theory and clinical coursework related to children, adults, women’s health, psychiatry, and community health. They also complete their clinical experience in a variety of hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities at this time. After completing the program and earning 120 credits, students take the NCLEX-RN, the national exam that leads to becoming a RN in New York State.

RN/BS Nursing Program

Nurses who are already RNs may complete their Bachelor of Science (BS) in nursing at St. John Fisher College. The college offers a blended curriculum that consists of both online and in-class courses that make it much more convenient for the working adult to complete their degree. RNs must be graduates with an associate degree or a nursing diploma. The program can be completed in 18 months consisting of nine 7-week modules that include liberal arts courses and nursing courses. The college encourages students to coordinate their course projects around their current work environment.

Fast-Track RN/BS to MS

RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing may also choose the RN to BS to Master of Science (MS) program if they want to quickly earn an advanced degree. A MS in nursing leads to higher level jobs with much higher pay than a nurse with an associate degree or diploma in nursing would earn. This advanced degree also leads to many more high level jobs in hospitals, clinics, and as nurse practitioners who provide primary care, or other positions. Students in this program follow the same program as other RNs in the RN to BS nursing program, except that at the end of their studies, they substitute four courses that count towards the BS and MS degree. This overlapping of coursework enables them to complete the program much faster. Completing these master-level courses does not automatically guarantee that the student will be admitted to the MS program. Students are accepted on an individual basis that is based on grade point average, clinical experience, and other factors.

If a student is accepted into the MS program, they must then choose their special area that they wish to focus on in their master’s level studies, such as Nurse Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Clinical Nurse Specialist programs.

MS in Advanced Practice Nursing

RNs who have their BS in nursing may apply to enter the Master of Science (MS) in Advanced Practice Nursing at St. John Fisher. Applicants must have current licensure as an RN in New York State. Students attend classes in the evening and in the summer, and they may begin their studies in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Applicants must have two letters of recommendation from a professional who is on the master’s level or above. The options of MS programs are discussed below.

MS in Advanced Practice Nursing: Clinical Nurse Specialist

This Master of Science in nursing program involves a choice of pursuing either an Adult/Gerontologic focus or a Maternal/Child focus. Students must complete 9 credits of coursework and 500 hours of precepted clinical practice. After completing the program, students take the certification exam to become certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

MS in Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner

After completing this program, the RN is qualified to take the test for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. These nurses provide primary care for children and adolescents, adults, and the elderly. The MS program requires that 27 credits in addition to the core courses must be completed. This amounts to 46 credits of coursework and 600 hours of precepted clinical practice..

MS in Advanced Practice Nursing: Nurse Educator

RNs with a BS in nursing may opt to complete the Nurse Educator program at St. John Fisher College. There is a great demand for nurse educators all around the US. This program requires 17 credits in addition to the MS core courses, including three education courses. Students may either major in Adult/Gerontologic focus or a Maternal Child focus. The program requires that students earn 36 credits and complete 300 hours of clinical practice. At the end of the program, RNs take the national certification exam to receive their Nurse Educator certificate.

Post-Master’s Certificate: Clinical Nurse Specialist

This program is for those who already have a MS in nursing, but others with a non-clinical master’s degree may also take the program to prepare to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Students with a master’s degree in another area may need to complete other core courses. All students must choose whether to pursue the Adult Health Focus or Maternal/Child Health Focus. The national exam that leads to a certificate as a

Post-Master’s Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner

The college also offers the Family Nurse Practitioner program for RNs who already have a master’s degree in nursing who want to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Those with a master’s degree in another field may also qualify after taking additional core courses. After completing the program, graduates will qualify to take the national exam that leads to certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Post-Master’s Certificate: Nurse Educator

RNs that already have a MS in nursing and want to become a Nurse Educator may complete this program to become certified to teach student nurses in a variety of settings. This is an 11 credit certificate program, and students take the national certification exam after completing a practicum.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

St. John Fisher College offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Admission requirements include a grade point average of 3.3 in master’s level work. The applicant must have graduated from an accredited Advanced Practice Nursing program, must be licensed in New York State as an RN, and must hold a certificate as an advanced practiced nurse. Applicants must also have at least one year’s clinical experience as an advanced practice nurse. Students may enter the program at the Post Baccalaureate Degree Entry Level or the Post Master’s Degree Entry level.

The Post Baccalaureate Degree Entry Level program requires 72 credit hours that are completed over 3-1/2 years. Students may enter the program on a part-time or full-time basis and attend classes that meet every other weekend. The curriculum is designed to accommodate working nurses. The other option is for those who already have a master’s degree. The Post Master’s Degree Entry Level program can be finished in two years. It requires that 48 credit hours are taken. There are also part-time or full-time options at this level, and nurses meet for classes every other weekend, which includes Friday evening and all-day Saturday.

St. John Fisher College
3690 East Avenue,
Rochester, New York 14618
(585) 385-8000