Posts Tagged ‘Peggy LaFrance’

SUNY Canton’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Gains Accreditation

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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.


SUNY Canton Receives Approval for Four-Year Nursing Degree

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

SUNY Canton has received approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


Students working in SUNY Canton's newly renovated nursing lab.

The College’s Admissions Office will begin reviewing applications for acceptance immediately for courses beginning in the Fall 2009 Semester. The program will be a natural progression for nursing students that have received their associate degree. The third and fourth years of the program will be available entirely online.

“The approval of this program has been highly anticipated by our students, alumni and members of our nursing community,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “It was created with the convenience and flexibility that is the hallmark of all our online courses and degrees. Registered nurses with associate degrees, many of whom have work and family obligations, will now be able to return to their studies to obtain a bachelor’s degree online.”

The new nursing program is the College’s first bachelor of science degree program and the College’s 16th bachelor’s degree overall. New York State Gov. David A. Patterson signed a master plan amendment that allows the College to offer the bachelor of science degree in addition to its existing bachelor of technology degrees.

Nursing Lab

“Year after year, we see a tremendous interest and enrollment in our nursing program,” said Nursing Program Director John F. Conklin. “Registered nurses recognize that a bachelor’s degree will help them to advance their careers and prepare them for a broader scope of nursing career options. Often, they can use their employer’s tuition reimbursement programs to subsidize or completely pay for their advanced degree.”

The nursing program typically sees the majority of its students gain successful employment immediately following graduation. The SUNY Canton Office of Career Services indicates that 100 percent of the 2008 graduating class of nurses were either employed or continuing their education within six months of graduating.

“This program seamlessly connects with our two-year degree,” noted Peggy LaFrance, an associate professor of nursing. “Students will continue to learn how to creatively solve complex health related problems, while applying concepts of leadership and management within the nursing profession.”

This program was created in part to help meet the demand for more advanced trained nurses amidst a nation-wide professional health care shortage. Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2020 according to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses are projected to generate 587,000 new jobs, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation.

The Bachelor of Science Nursing program is offered exclusively through SUNY Canton OnLine, the highly successful Internet branch of the College. Courses are offered in a partially self-guided, self-paced environment with asynchronous responses, meaning a student can participate in a course almost anytime from anywhere there is a connection to the World Wide Web.

The College also has plans to add an upcoming one-year Licensed Practical Nursing certificate program in the future. The proposal for that program is pending further state approval. When it is approved, students can enter a complete ladder curriculum that will lead them from a one-year certificate to a four-year degree within the nursing program.

For more information view the Nursing B.S. webpage.

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.