York Nursing Program Excels in Recruitment

York's nursing program is one of the more competitive departments in the college. (Malika Jones)
York’s nursing program is one of the more competitive departments in the college. (Malika Jones)

York College is known for its prestigious Nursing, Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy programs. Every year, the competition to get into one of these programs grows in demand leaving some students shorthanded in fulfilling their dreams. But not all students realize that getting into one of these programs is tougher than they’d expect.


      The three programs received 69 applications this year and are still accepting applications. The nursing program has only 25 seats available while the PA program on average receives 200 applications for 30 available seats. On average, the OT program gets about 150-200 applications and has 33 seats. The OT program focuses more on the social sciences of people lives whereas the nursing and PA program focuses more on the hard science

      Valerie Taylor-Haslip, the director of the nursing program and an RN for 35 years, talked about how many students wanting to get into the nursing program have high expectations but are unaware of the the high competition between students.

      “Some students see you only need a 3.0 GPA and a C or better in pre-screening core classes, but fail to realize aiming to get only C’s and just a 3.0 will not guarantee you a seat,” said Taylor-Haslip. “Students tend to do better than the asking requirements and also tend to score high on the NLN entrance exam.”

      Jerome Tabaosares, a current a student in the program, said he knows firsthand the pressure and competition to get into the program. He also said the pressure and hard work you have to do before getting into the program is ten times harder than if you actually get into the program.

      “I was accepted into the program a year ago and it was a very hard process,” said Tabaosares. “From my perspective, students only want to get into these programs because of the high paying salary, but do not realize what they are getting themselves into. Some students do it to please their parents, but end up not doing well because it’s not what they want to really do.”

      Pre-Med advisor and Doctoral lecturer, Dr. Andrew Criss has been teaching at York College since 2005 and sees how students struggle to       “Both of the courses I teach are real first-hand science courses, both the lecture and the lab,” said Criss. “In both classes, I start out with about 60 students and when the semester is coming to an end, I’m left with about 15 students. Students become overwhelmed and do not realize studying plays a huge role not only in my courses, but also if they want to get into the programs York provides them.”

      The PA program like the Nursing program looks at the core classes for admission, but what makes them different from the Nursing program is that the PA program holds an interview and requires students wanting to gain admission to write and an essay. Like the nursing program, the PA program requires pre-PA students to get a C or better in pre-screening core classes and just for the PA program, they require students to have a GPA of 2.5 or above.

      “We just don’t take in anybody,” said Director and Associate Professor of the Physician Assistant program, Dr. Robert Brugna who has been teaching at York since 2005. “The students we took in last year didn’t have any C’s and the lowest GPA we took in was a 3.3 to 3.4.”

      Director of the OT program and an occupational therapist herself for 30 years, Dr. Andrea Krauss said like the other directors of their programs, aiming for just C’s and a 2.9 GPA will not guarantee you a seat in the program. Also it’s important to not just depend on one’s grades because the interview plays a huge factor in admission into the program.

      “Students do not come to advisement when it’s time to do so,” said Krauss. “Students aren’t also aware of the multiple open houses each of these programs hold to give students information about the competitive programs here at York. If students do not come, they make their own judgments, but end up lost because they do not come. Students need to understand not everyone is guaranteed a seat.”

      Some students often complain that the Nursing and PA programs do not have enough seats and do not give students a chance to get in. Directors of the programs say all students have a chance to get in, but have to put in the work.

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