Niagara University to Hold First Undergrad Nursing Commencement Since Reintroduction of Pre-licensure BS Program

Commencement Speaker will be Catherine Lyons, Chief Nursing Officer at Yale-New Haven's Smilow Cancer Hospital

Niagara University's first undergraduate commencement ceremony since the reintroduction of its four-year nursing program will take place on Saturday, May 14th. The university's first nursing program was initiated in 1946.

The School of Nursing commencement speaker will be Catherine Lyons, RN, M.S., NEA-BC, a 1975 Niagara University graduate who is Chief Nursing Officer at the 

Smilow Cancer Hospital, part of Connecticut's Yale-New Haven Hospital Center. Also a member of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Nursing and Patient Services Cabinet, Ms. Lyons has broad nursing executive experience in large academic and research centers and community settings.

The Niagara nursing program was reintroduced in 2006 as a nursing degree completion program for students who were already registered nurses. The university added a four-year B.S. program in 2012, along with an accelerated second degree program for those with prior degrees wishing to have a nursing career.

Niagara University's Nursing Simulation Center

Niagara University's Nursing Simulation Center

"Nursing has historically been a large part of who we are as university," said Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara. "The work nurses do and the methods employed in their

training, both professionally and sociologically, tie in perfectly with our Vincentian mission. We're extremely proud to be able to send our nursing graduates into the best hospitals and medical facilities throughout the U.S. where they will add tremendous medical and emotional value to patients and their families."

Frances Crosby, Ed.D., RN, director of the School of Nursing, said "This class is an historic one and one of which we are immensely proud. They have the benefit of a world-class 21st century nursing education and have also learned the values that will help them serve intellectually, technologically and with the sensitivity and compassion required for their profession."

Niagara University's School of Nursing, with a Nursing Simulation Center introduced in late 2015, has a long history of nursing education with a proud legacy of successful and engaged alumni. Accredited by the New York State Department of Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Niagara's School of Nursing is offers three different degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing (4-Year Degree)
  • RN-to-B.S. Completion Program (Post-Associate Degree)
  • Accelerated B.S. in Nursing (1-Year Post-Baccalaureate Degree)

Niagara's nursing programs focus on preparing nurses who internalize and integrate the professional nursing paradigm of critical analysis and problem solving, healthcare leadership and management, communication and research utilization, community-based care and the values of respect for human dignity and ethical decision-making related to the scope of professional nursing practice. Our goal is to educate nurses who, upon completion of the program, have been prepared to lead, manage and deliver outstanding professional comprehensive nursing care in any healthcare setting. The programs use active learning strategies and strive to be flexible and accessible for the adult learners.

For more information about Niagara University's School of Nursing, visit