Union County College Nursing Program Review
Founded in 1933, Union County College (UCC) boasts to be the oldest serving community college in New Jersey. The college was established to meet career minded and transfer oriented higher education needs of Union County residents. The college has established a large county presence in both urban and suburban sites through its 3 satellite campuses in Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, and Plainfield in addition to the main campus in Cranford. Union College offers 2-year associate degrees, certificate, continuing education and professional development programs.
Nursing at Union County College
Health care academic programs including nursing are one of the strongholds of UCC. The college offers two categories of cooperative nursing programs. The first cooperative program is with JKF medical center school of nursing. Through JKF’s Harold B. & Dorothy A. Snyder School of nursing, Union offers 3 registered nurses (RN) tracks namely:
- Generic Track
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to RN track
- Accelerated RN track
The second cooperative program is offered with Trinitas Regional Medical Center School of nursing. Through this plan, UCC offers the first 2 listed RN tracks. Independently, UCC also offers one of the only two nationally accredited practical nursing programs in the state. The RN tracks are jointly accredited with JKFMuhlenberg Harold b. & Dorothy Snyder school of nursing by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). In the cooperative plans, JKF and Trinitas award a diploma while Union awards an associate degree.
This is a one-year program that prepares entry-level candidates to join the nursing career. The program is one of the only two such programs accredited by the NLNAC alongside Salem Community College. It is also the only program that UCC offers independently without a cooperative plan. Admission into the program is limited and depends on the number of pre-requisite courses a candidate has completed at the time of application. Preference in selection is given to candidates who have completed or taking pre-requisites courses at UCC.
The curriculum is delivered on site or through distance as is found fit by the college. Students can also choose from the Day track or the Evening/weekend option: for which the distance learning mode can be used. For all students, clinical practice can be scheduled in day, weekend or evening sessions. A maximum of 53 credits are required for graduation with a Practical Nursing Certificate. Graduates also become eligible to take the NLCEX-PN exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses.
These 2 programs are jointly offered with Trinitas School of nursing located in UCC Elizabeth campus.
- The Generic Program-Trinitas Nursing
This cooperative program is taught by faculty from both Trinitas School of nursing and Union county college. Prior to admission, candidates must complete a college placement test from either college and drop their applications at any of the two schools. Students have the advantage of completing the program at multi-campus sites of Union county college.
This program awards requires 75 credits to complete and takes four semesters in two and a half years. All general education and science courses are completed at Union County College campuses namely Elizabeth, Cranford and Plainfield campuses. On the other hand, all nursing courses are offered at the Trinitas School of nursing at the Elizabeth Campus. Of the 75 credits, 38 are of nursing courses and 37 are of general education and science courses. Students can choose between the full time or part time plans for the day, evening or weekend classes.
Upon successful completion of the curriculum, students graduate with an Associate of Science in nursing degree awarded by Union college. They are also awarded a Diploma in nursing from Trinitas School of Nursing. Graduates also become eligible to apply and take the NLCEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.
- LPN to RN Completion Program
This program enables LPN to gain advanced standing towards the generic nursing program. Candidates must show proof of current New Jersey LPN licensures and must have graduated from a nationally accredited college. Successful students are admitted every fall semester to take two LPN to RN transition courses for which they receive advanced standing credits.
The program is offered as evening option only with a flexibility of 3 evening classes per week schedule. With this plan, LPNs can complete the program within one and a half years including a summer session. Just like the generic track, students are awarded a diploma from Trinitas and an associate degree from Union. They also become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.
Onsite Articulation Options
The Trinitas School of nursing has an onsite BSN/MSN program for students wishing to move smoothly and earn a BSN or MSN. The program is a joint effort between Trinitas and College of St-Elizabeth. This plan is also open to all Trinitas Hospital employees who wish to use professional Experiential Learning to earn Credits. Such employees need to submit their professional experience at Trinitas and take a professional assessment in order to earn credits.
The 3 nursing programs under this plan are offered through UCC and JKF’s Medical Center School of nursing.
- Generic Track
The generic track is the traditional track designed for entry-level candidates. Just like the prior generic track with Trinitas, general education courses are offered by UCC while nursing courses are taught by JKF Harold B. & Dorothy A. Snyder School of nursing. The program takes five semesters and students are awarded a diploma from Harold B. & Dorothy A. Snyder School of nursing.
- Accelerated Track
The accelerated track is open to candidates who have completed all prerequisites courses preferably at Union. The admission requirements for this program are similar to those of the generic track. Those who have met this requirement take another three accelerated semesters of nursing courses including a 12-week summer semester. These courses are offered at Muhlenberg Harold B & Dorothy Snyder School of nursing.
Just like the generic track, students are awarded a diploma and an associate degree from JKF and Union respectively. Students also become academically prepared to take the NLCEX-RN to become registered nurses.
- LPN to RN Track
The LPN to RN track is designed for practical nurses that hold valid New Jersey licenses. It is also designed to accept articulation graduates from UCC’s practical nursing program who wish to become registered nurses.
Students are admitted on summer session I to complete a LPN Transition Course followed by summer session II for science courses. This is then followed by another three normal semesters for nursing courses. Students receive a minimum of 12 credits in advanced standing after taking the transition course. Completion of the coursework leads to eligibility to take the NLCEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse besides earning the diploma and associate degree.
Union County College
1033 Springfield Avenue, Cranford,