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10 Years and Growing
MS in Nursing Degree Program
We are extremely pleased to note that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the graduate degree program in nursing at Excelsior College,” announced Dr. Bridget Nettleton, dean, School of Nursing. In 1999, Excelsior took a giant step into the frontier of online graduate nursing education, seeking and receiving approval from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to offer a Master of Science degree in nursing with a specialization in Clinical Systems Management. Concurrent with approval for the master’s degree program, the NYSED also approved an RN-MS program, which would combine both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Development of the first courses brought together renowned experts from across the country, along with onsite faculty, to transform the curriculum to the online platform. These experts also became the instructional faculty as the courses were launched, providing a national scope to the program.

In fall 2002, after a successful self-study and site visit, the program received its initial accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

By December 2002, the first four students to complete the program came to Excelsior to meet face-to-face for the first time. The celebration, which included faculty and staff who had been instrumental in developing the program, was a great reunion of people who had never met in person. They all came to know each other well as participants in the kind of community that develops as students go through an online program together.

The MS nursing program consists of core nursing courses and specialty courses in management and informatics and culminates in a capstone course, which includes an administrative practicum experience and a weekend onsite leadership retreat at the College. To learn more about the Master of Science degree in nursing, go to

In the spring of 2008, the MS degree program’s NLNAC accreditation MS in Nursing Degree Program status was continued for another eight years.

Today, there are 740 students enrolled — 337 in the master’s and 403 in the RN to MS. These students come from all over the U.S. and some from outside the country. Graduates from Excelsior’s AD and BS nursing programs make up a significant percentage of the MS students. To date, there are 178 graduates, and 58 of those grads have two or even three degrees from Excelsior College.

Commencement 2010 saw the largest turnout ever of MS nursing grads! Twenty-three came to Albany to celebrate their achievements. One group, who named themselves the “Red Shoes,” marched together and enjoyed the camaraderie of mixing with faculty, staff, and their peers.

The MS nursing has continued to gain in popularity and enrollments, as did the College’s desire to create new specializations. In 2006, the nursing education specialization was introduced to help prepare the nursing workforce of the future, and one year later, a third specialization was added, nursing informatics.


A High Percentage of Success: College Increases Partnerships
Over the past six months, the College has formed a number of educational partnerships with organizations from a variety of industries, increasing access to many more employees wishing to earn a degree. 

During the College’s fiscal year, the Excelsior partnership development team exceeded net revenue goals by 300 percent (or $300,000), creating eleven new partnerships and performing extensive outreach to existing partner organizations including Albany Medical Center, IBEW, CSX, and USPS.

The benefits of an Excelsior College education partnership are many; for example, substantially reduced fees and tuition may be available, helping to enhance employee recruitment and retention. Over the next year, the partnership development team will focus on creating new partnerships in industries including energy and hospitality.

If you think an education partnership with Excelsior College would benefit your company or organization, please contact the Partnership Development Office. Call toll free 800-896-1632 or email

Our new partner organizations include:

Professional Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) — Troy, Michigan
Public Service Enterprise Group Nuclear (PSEG) — Lower Alloways Creek, New Jersey
Executive Women in Government (EWG) — Washington, DC
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