Alverno College plans second location, in Arizona, for nursing program

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Alverno College will expand its nursing program to Arizona with plans to open a location in a suburb of Phoenix next year.

The private Milwaukee college is partnering with Synergis Education to offer its Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program in Mesa, Arizona.

The program, designed for women and men who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, allows students to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing with 18 months of full-time study. It launched on Alverno’s Milwaukee campus in January 2020.

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Alverno has secured a space in Mesa, a suburb located about 20 miles from Phoenix, and plans to enroll the first cohort of students in August 2022, pending regulatory approvals. The campus is expected to be 13,000 square feet and include a clinical simulation lab similar to the one on the Milwaukee campus.

“Alverno has always sought to meet the needs of the time, to be nimble, and to ensure that those seeking educational access find open and welcoming doors,” said Alverno College president Andrea Lee. “We have tremendous regard for our partner in this endeavor, Synergis Education, and are thrilled to launch this program in a region where there is so much demand for skilled, compassionate health care providers.”

The college noted that job growth for registered nurses in Arizona between 2016-’26 will be 37%, triple that of the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decision to open a location in Arizona builds on Alverno’s “bold plans to expand its health care footprint,” the college said.

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“When we consider our mission, our traditional areas of curricular strength and the escalating need in Arizona, we find this opportunity to be mission-centric and consistent with our strategic plan’s core strategies,” said Joseph Foy, Alverno’s vice president for Academic Affairs.

Synergis was founded in 2011 and partners with institutions to launch pre- and post-licensure nursing programs and doctoral degrees, using face-to-face, online or blended models.

“Synergis Education has been so impressed with the leadership at Alverno College,” said Synergis CEO Norm Allgood. “At every level, they are dedicated to innovation and understand the need to expand access to education in high-demand fields.”

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Alverno is in the process of applying for regulatory approvals, including from the Arizona Board of Nursing, the Higher Learning Commission and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The college hopes to receive all approvals by winter 2021.

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