CT offers former Stone Academy students a pathway to nursing degrees

More than 100 students left in the lurch after Stone Academy abruptly closed will be offered a pathway to complete their nursing degrees, with the help of the state.

The former school had campuses in East Hartford, Waterbury, and West Haven.

The state Office of Higher Education announced today that 138 students who meet a specific threshold would qualify to apply for a “teach-out program” to be administered by Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers.

In order to be eligible, students must have completed a minimum of 40 percent of their practical nursing program at Stone Academy, as determined by the transcript audit completed in July. Eligible students will also be required to pass the HESI Admission Assessment Exam to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and skill before being accepted into the 10-month program at the Griffin facility in Naugatuck.

The program will consist of both classroom work and clinical experiences through various locations to ensure that students will be prepared for the National Council Licensure Examination.

The program will be funded through the state Office of Higher Education. The total cost for the program was not immediately available. 

It’s also unclear what the future holds for the remaining 712 Stone Academy students affected by the sudden closure. 

OHE Executive Director Timothy Larson, a former state representative from East Hartford, said that students have been patient while the audit was concluded and the new teach-out program was developed over the past several months.

“Our goal was and has always been to provide displaced students with a path forward,” he said. “While other former Stone students have started over or transferred to other programs to complete their training, this latest path allows for students who are closer to graduation to complete their training and prepare to sit for the” licensing test.

Amanda Bell, executive dean of the Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Centers, said the institution is “grateful” and “enthusiastic” to welcome its new students.

“As with our other successful certified nursing assistant, patient care technician, phlebotomy, and medical assistant programs, these students will receive an exceptional hands-on education that will prepare them to safely care for patients as highly skilled, compassionate, patient-centered caregivers,” she said.

Despite the initial setback, Larson said the program would help at least some of the students to achieve their goals.

“We cannot turn back the clock, but I’m confident, and more importantly, students can be confident that the planned teach-out will provide them with the knowledge, skills, and clinical experiences necessary to become licensed practical nurses,” he said.

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