Touro plans Mare Island nursing school

[caption id="attachment_89021" align="alignnone" width="500"] Touro University bachelor of nursing students at the Henderson, Nev., campus (image credit: John Morris)[/caption]

VALLEJO -- Touro University of California is preparing to launch a new nursing school at its Mare Island campus this April, focusing on instruction that provides an accelerated path for working nurses seeking an advanced degree and the nationally recognized "clinical nurse leader" certification.

It will be the only master of nursing program offering in-person instruction in Solano County, and will allow associate-level nurses to bypass the traditional bachelor's degree to focus directly on master's credentials, said Ann Stoltz, director of the nursing school.

That accelerated approach responds to a growing demand for highly trained nurse practitioners in the United States, giving today's job seekers an edge while addressing the expanded role those professionals are expected to play amid ongoing health care reform.

[caption id="attachment_89023" align="alignright" width="199"] Shelley Berkley[/caption]

"As health care evolves, it's expected that nurses will play a larger role," Ms. Stoltz said. "This is a little niche we have -- we've taken a very innovative approach and accelerated it."

Touro, whose Mare Island campus offers a number of graduate-level medical programs, anticipates around 35 associate-level nurses in its inaugural cohort. Those students are expected to come largely from the Solano County area, with room for an additional 10 bachelor-level students to join part-way through the program in January 2015, Ms. Stoltz said.

Associate-level enrollees can obtain their master's degree in as little as 18 months, and bachelor-level, in as little as 13 months. Approximately half of the program will be offered online, with one day per week and one Sunday per month of instruction at the Mare Island campus.

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