SUNY Upstate Medical University Nursing School Review

The State University of New York Upstate Medical University (SUNY-UMU) is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of colleges. It is located in Syracuse and has around 1300 students enrolled in upper-division transfer programs and graduate programs. The campus includes University Hospital where students complete clinical experience. The College of Nursing has options for nurses to complete a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or post-master’s certificate.

Nursing Program

RN to Bachelor’s (2 + 2) Early Admission Program

This unique program at SUNY-Upstate Medical University allows students to apply to this university at the same time they apply to an associate’s degree nursing program. This guarantees students a spot in the bachelor’s degree program at Upstate Medical University as soon as they complete their Registered Nurse (RN) associate degree program. Before beginning at Upstate Medical University, the student must have completed all prerequisite courses and must have at least a 2.8 cumulative grade point average.

Students are accepted into this program after completing their associate’s degree at nearby community colleges and nursing schools including Cayuga Community College, Crouse Hospital School of Nursing, Jefferson Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Onondaga Community College, and more. Other associate’s degree programs are St. Elizabeth’s College of Nursing, St. Joseph’s College of Nursing, Morrisville State College, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College. Those accepted into the program must have successfully completed at least three years of Regents or honors level courses in math and science. They should also be in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Additionally, volunteer or observational experience is highly regarded when considering students for the program.

Bachelor of Science

This Bachelor of Science (BS) program is designed for RNs who want to complete their bachelor’s degree. A total of 61 credits must be completed, consisting of upper level nursing courses and clinical experience plus the liberal arts and science courses that are necessary for graduation. The program curriculum is arranged so that it is convenient for working nurses. It is possible to take courses only one day a week. Many students complete the BS on a part-time basis. They are encouraged to take a minimum of 12 credits per year. At the completion of the program, students are awarded their BS.

Master of Science

The Master of Science (MS) program at Upstate Medical University is a program that RNs with a bachelor’s degree are eligible to enter if they meet the admission requirements. Although the core courses of this program are the same, there are upper level specialty courses that prepare nurses to perform important tasks in the healthcare industry. RNs may train to be nurse practitioners, nurse educators, or they may decide to pursue research with this training. They may also want to go into leadership roles or consulting jobs within the healthcare community. The following information about these advanced nursing specialties explains each one.

BS to MS

Some students at Upstate Medical University want to continue their education as far as they want to go without stopped to work for a year or so. This can be done at this SUNY University. Admission requirements for any of the MS programs are two prerequisite courses of Basic Health Assessment and Basic Statistics. Applicants must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate courses. They must also be currently licensed as an RN in New York State, and have current CPR certification. When an applicant moves directly to the master’s program after completing the BS, there is no work requirement to gain experience as an RN and no GRE required.

RN to MS

Applicants who are already RNs and have an associate’s degree or a nursing diploma from a nursing program may also attend the BS program at Upstate Medical University. They must have a minimum of 60 credits including Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology, six credits in English, six credits in social science including psychology, and six to nine liberal arts science credits. They also need to have 30 credits in nursing courses. A minimum grade of C should have been earned in all of these courses. It is also recommended that applicants have 12 additional credits in arts and sciences.

Bachelor’s in Another Field RN to MS

RNs who have a bachelor’s degree in another field may also attend the university to complete their MS. They must have Basic Health Assessment, Basic Statistics, and Management in Nursing, Research, and Community Focused Nursing completed before entering the program.

RN to MS Program

RNs with an associate’s degree may enter this program to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degree in three years of full-time study.

Nurse Practitioner: Child Track

This program is currently on hold at the university.

Nurse Practitioner: Family Track

This advanced practice nursing program prepares RNs to diagnose acute and chronic illnesses. They create treatment plans and prescribe medication and diagnostic tests. They then analyze the lab tests and x-rays. They also refer patients to specialists and educate patients about their illness. The program takes two or three years of full-time study to complete, including coursework, clinical experience, and residency. Students may complete the program part-time, and doing this usually takes around three to five years. At the completion of the program, students take the national exam leading to certification as a Nurse Practitioner.

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is a specialist who provides children and adults with primary healthcare that includes the diagnosis of mental illness and medication. This nurse also works with the family in group therapy in clinics, shelters, and other settings. At the completion of the program, students take the national exam for certification to practice this specialty. This program can usually be completed by attending the university full-time for two years.

RN to MS Program

RNs with an associate’s degree may enter this program to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degree in three years of full-time study.

Master of Science: Clinical Nurse Specialist

This program is very unique in that it is designed for RNs with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. It is the only local clinical program that accepts students with this academic background. Those who are accepted into the program may choose from two clinical tracks, which are Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist. Nurse Practitioner students must choose from either the Family Nurse Practitioner or Family Psychiatric mental health Nurse Practitioner. A Clinical Nurse Specialist is trained in a particular area, such as wound care, Emergency Department, rehabilitation, and others.

Master’s Completion for NPs

Nurse Practitioners who have only their bachelor’s degree in nursing may complete their MS at Upstate Medical University in one year of full-time or two years of part-time study.

MS-Unique Education Minor for Certificate

There is also a master’s program for RNs who want to become Nurse Educators. They complete the core courses of the MS and also a minor in education. The education minor takes two semesters to complete.

Certificate Programs

RNs that have their MS may complete the Nurse Practitioner program or the Clinical Nurse Specialist program. They do not need to repeat courses that were taken when working on their MS, and this cuts down the time needed to earn the specialty certificate. They take the national exam at the completion of the program to become licensed in their specialty.

SUNY-Upstate Medical University
750 East Adams Street,
Syracuse, New York 13210
(315) 464-5540