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Cayuga’s nursing program offers flexible, marketable career path

DATE: 05-06-2011

For 35 years, Cayuga Community College has been educating highly skilled and caring nurses who make up the professional healthcare workforce at a variety of Central New York hospitals, nursing homes, health agencies, and community organizations.

In recent years, graduates from the program have had a nearly 100 percent placement rate, meaning the nursing graduates who seek employment find employment. Approximately 10 percent of the registered nurse (RN) alumni who complete the associate's degree at Cayuga continue on a part-time basis for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

"Our students' performance on the National Council Licensure Exam is consistently strong," said Nursing Program Director and Professor Linda Alfieri. "Our three-year passing rate average is 94 percent, which significantly exceeds the New York State and national averages.

"Cayuga strives to instill a standard of excellence in our graduates," Alfieri said. "Cayuga nurses are educated to use their head, hands, and heart to practice the art and science of nursing. Our graduates bring the key characteristics of caring, competence, collaboration, and commitment to the nursing profession."

The job market and starting salary are strong for registered nurses.

Register nursing positions will grow faster than most other careers through 2018—at a growth rate of 39 percent in physician offices, 39 percent in home healthcare services, 34 percent in outpatient centers, and 22 percent in hospitals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average RN starting salary in the Syracuse area ranges from $17.75 to $27 an hour or approximately $36,920 to $56,160 a year, according to

The Cayuga nursing program attracts a diverse range of students, from the recent high school graduate to the stay-at-home mom ready to enter the work force, to a displaced worker looking to find a second career.

Some students start out in non-credit, healthcare training certificate programs in such areas as medical assisting, medical coding, pharmacy technician, or phlebotomy. To learn more about these programs, check out the Community Education and Workforce Development web page at: or call 315-294-8841.

For more information on the Cayuga nursing program and nursing careers, stop by an upcoming Nursing Information Session on the Auburn or Fulton campus:

4 p.m. Monday, May 9, BIC Conference Room, 806 W. Broadway, Fulton4 p.m. Monday June 13, Student Lounge, 197 Franklin St., Auburn4 p.m. Monday, July 11, BIC Conference Room, 806 W. Broadway, Fulton4 p.m. Monday, August 8, Student Lounge, 197 Franklin St., Auburn

Or contact Linda Alfieri, program director, at 315-294-8684 or