ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Regional Health is expanding its nursing program — the Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing — to include the newly launched College of Health Careers. The new program will be housed close to hospital grounds, in the old Macy’s Department Store in the former Irondequoit Medley Center — now Skyview on the Ridge.
The health system says the launch is an effort to combat a regional nursing shortage, while strengthening local pathways to careers in nursing.
The college offers a spectrum of training and education from Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN).
“The college will help increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce by providing economic mobility for those living in poverty or facing daily economic challenges,” said college president Deborah Stamps, EdD, RN.
Stamps says the space was everything they were looking for. It’s larger, more accessible, close to expressway, and will offer a lot of jobs to the Irondequoit community.
Former student Melissa Mickle says walking into the new space reminds her the importance of hands learning. “Amazing walking in, from the old location being so crammed…I think its amazing.”
Part of expansion includes more diversity. Stamps says with over 300 students enrolled, about 60% are African American and 8% Hispanic. A statistic that both Mickles and current student Yiniba Torres-Solis are a part of.
“Sometimes the Latino community feels like they can’t come in because they can’t communicate with providers, so I was like that’s my calling,” said Torres-Solis, who is fluent in Spanish and plans on incorporating in her practice.
“As a Black woman it’s good to see more of us as far as nursing, where its mainly dominated by caucasians but seeing more Black women I think it’s a good look,” said Mickle.