The former Irondequoit Medley Center - now Skyview on the Ridge - has new occupants. In the wake of national nursing shortages, Rochester Regional Health has launched the College of Health Careers, a degree granting institution that will be kicking off with an Associate of Applied Science degree with a major in Nursing. The program is an extension of the existing Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing and located in the old Macy’s Department Store space within Skyview on the Ridge.
College President Deborah Stamps (EdD, RN) says the space has everything they were looking for.
“It’s larger, more accessible, close to expressway, and will offer a lot of jobs to the Irondequoit community,” says Stamps. “Being on two bus lines, so access for our students is not an issue. The parking spaces … bringing the mall back to life with the other construction that’s going to be going on here.”
With interactive spaces, simulation labs and larger classrooms, COHC will offer training and education from Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN). There’s also a new program where students can earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree with a major in Nursing (20 students are enrolled in that program, which begins in March). Professional development courses will be available to former students.
The hope is that COHC will make local healthcare careers more accessible, in addition to answering the national need. Though there are many nursing schools in the region, waitlists can often be years long.
“That was why the college was started - to have that career path opportunity,” says Stamps. “This will help increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce by providing economic mobility for those living in poverty or facing daily economic challenges.”
Diversity in the student body is also a priority - COHC has more than 300 students enrolled, about 60% Black and 8% Latinx. Stamps says a trust factor is built when the individuals caring for the community look like the community.
"With what we saw in the COVID pandemic, the healthcare disparities have not changed,” says Stamps. “This has really magnified the need for a more diverse workforce, and creating that workforce.”
The Rochester General College of Health Careers is dedicated to preparing adult learners with the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to pursue health careers, advanced education, and lifelong learning. We are eager to provide this education through creative pathways and partnerships.Learn More
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