JWU Launches Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program

Johnson & Wales University is expanding its commitment to healthcare education with the launch of a new, innovative nursing degree program. The accelerated timeline will allow learners who already have a bachelor’s degree to receive full qualification in just 16 months.

Female students in a science class look at a skeleton

The new program builds on Johnson & Wales’ strong healthcare foundation. In 2014, the university was the first higher education institution in the Rhode Island to offer a physician assistant studies master’s degree program, followed by the launch of the pioneering entry-level occupational therapy doctorate program in 2019.

Addressing the Need for Healthcare Careers

The accelerated, 16-month nursing program is highly competitive and allows students the opportunity to combine classroom learning with hands-on clinical experience through partnerships with healthcare providers across Rhode Island. As a second degree, JWU's new program will require students to have completed a bachelor’s degree, as well as certain prerequisite courses such as chemistry and human anatomy and physiology.

“Rhode Island, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a critical shortage of nursing professionals,” said Sandra G. Affenito, Ph.D., vice chancellor of academic administration. “Between the COVID-19 pandemic and retirements, our healthcare system has been pushed to its limit. We are proud to offer this program to make nursing more accessible to those interested in a career change.”

We are proud to offer this program to make nursing more accessible to those interested in a career change.

A Foundation of Healthcare Excellence

Johnson & Wales leverages five decades of academic excellence in legacy programs like hospitality and the culinary arts to inform programming universitywide. When it comes to healthcare, Johnson & Wales focuses on a full-body approach to wellness. As is the case in all health and wellness degree programs offered at the university, nursing students will be required to complete nutrition coursework, working within a food-as-medicine framework. Hospitality influences all aspects of interpersonal communication, from a welcoming bedside manner to clear, direct communication to help patients better understand their bodies and diagnoses.

Suzan Menihan, DNP, CNM, has come on board to serve as Johnson & Wales’ chief nursing officer and the director of the nursing program.

Male nursing student in a lab examines a patient

“Our graduates will be ready to hit the ground running on day one of their career, with real-world experience already under their belt,” Menihan said. “The accelerated timeline will allow us to help meet the needs of Rhode Island’s changing healthcare landscape.”

The first cohort of nursing students is slated to start in fall 2023 and is set to complete the program by December 2024. 

Explore: B.S. Accelerated Nursing program