SPRINGFIELD — As the academic year gets underway, 88 new students from the UMass Amherst College of Nursing’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program will begin class at the UMass Center at Springfield (UMCS).
The College of Nursing made the decision to permanently teach the accelerated bachelor’s program in the Tower Square location earlier this year. The 26,000-square-foot space features 10 classrooms and clinical simulation space specifically designed for the needs of the nursing program. State-of-the-art telehealth facilities are being developed and will be ready later this year.
Dean Stephen Cavanagh said there are additional benefits to the location. “The College of Nursing is excited to have our first cohort of accelerated bachelor’s students learning in the UMass Center at Springfield. The downtown Springfield location is accessible for students from all over New England, thanks to its proximity to major highways and the new Union Station. Some of the area’s best hospitals and medical facilities are also just minutes away, making it convenient for our students to complete their clinical studies. We feel this is a great opportunity for both the College of Nursing and the UMass Center at Springfield.”
The partnership between the Springfield Center and the College of Nursing dates back several years and has been mutually beneficial.
“Since we opened our doors in September 2014, the College of Nursing has been a significant academic partner providing a valuable resource for training the healthcare workforce in the Pioneer Valley,” said Daniel Montagna, UMCS director of Operations. “Moving the program to Springfield benefits area businesses, including restaurants and retail shops within Tower Square and throughout downtown. We are elated to be the new home of the accelerated bachelor’s program and to have the university expand its footprint at the center and in this region.”
The 17-month accelerated program is designed for students with bachelor’s degrees in other subjects or for persons interested in a career change, and is taught by College of Nursing faculty. The number of students taking classes in the Springfield Center will double next year when a new cohort begins. Students beginning the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing option now will earn a UMass Amherst degree in December 2018.