SUNY Canton’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Gains Accreditation

SUNY Canton’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program recently earned its initial five-year accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The announcement was a result of a successful site visit by ACEN accreditors in February. The program was previously operating under ACEN candidacy status since its creation in 2009.


“The accreditation reaffirms that our program is the right choice for our students,” said Nursing Professor and Program Director Debra M. Backus, Ph.D. “We have an ideal learning environment for employed nurses looking to advance their education.”

Backus said the program is still accepting students for the fall 2014 semester. Those interested should contact SUNY Canton’s Office of admissions at 315-386-7123 or email

The online program creates a flexible learning environment that adapts to the lifestyle of working students. Graduates of the program have enhanced career opportunities and are often enrolled to seek higher-paid positions in their field. Almost all of the program’s graduates are pursuing master’s degrees, according to Nursing Professor Peggy LaFrance.

“Students are very impressed with the connections they make with our faculty members,” LaFrance said. “Their interactions help them gain insight into the larger perspective of the health care field.”

The program offers open enrollment for students who posses a valid United States nursing license and have earned an associate degree in nursing. Some of the students are nurses working at area hospitals including Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Gouverneur Hospital, Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, Massena Memorial Hospital and Samaritan Medical Center. Another substantial population of students are from New York City and Long Island Hospitals.

The program was created in 2009 as one of a very few fully online two into four-year Nursing programs. In about four years it quadrupled its student enrollment and was recently ranked among the most affordable programs in the nation by SR Education group, an organization advocating for accessible higher education.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science Nursing program, SUNY Canton offers a one-year Practical Nursing certificate program and a two-year Associate of Applied Science Nursing program. Students who graduate from the two-year program often start their careers and begin working on their four-year degree.

The ACEN supports the interests of nursing education, nursing practice and the public by providing a voluntary, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality.


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.


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