Even at #1 in NH, Saint A’s nursing seeks competitive edge


Jake Lamontagne

An aerial view of Alumni Hall

Grace Bolinsky, Crier Staff

From scientific labs, abroad trips to Italy and back to Manchester, Saint Anselm has lots to offer. It’s easy for prospective students to gain interest in Saint Anselm due to their widely respected curriculum and large variety of programs to choose from. However, arguably the strongest and most popular is the nursing program, for which the school is largely recognized. While it is already an extremely respected program at the school, President Favazza and others at the school want to enhance the program, to defend Saint Anselm’s reputation. President Favazzza has appointed a commission of esteemed professionals that will create new ideas that will benefit the future of the nursing program. The idea of the commission floated around at the end of the 2021 spring semester, and is now being put into action. 

According to college factual, Saint Anselm is ranked number one for nursing in the state of New Hampshire, and 121 in the country. This places Saint Anselm in the top ten percent of the country for the nursing program (CollegeFactual). Due to these numbers, it is also noted that Nursing is the number one major at Saint Anselm, shortly followed by business and criminology. This also supports the competitive nature of the program here, and the drive that nursing students exhibit at the college. 

It may be widely recognized and respected by adults and professionals, but the nursing program is also a major player when it comes to prospective students. An anonymous freshman was asked why they chose the nursing program at Saint Anselm rather than the other seven schools they applied to. “ I chose the nursing program here because I had heard great things from family members and friends and knew that I would be pushed to succeed here.” While freshman nursing students have not had a chance to, sophomores and upperclassmen also get to experience clinicals, which is noted by prospective students as well. An anonymous sophomore nursing student says that “[she] was most attracted to the courses, and that clinicals are incorporated into the curriculum to give us real world experience.” Prospective students are obviously attracted to the nursing program for its unique learning style, but Saint Anselm delivers not only that, but a liberal arts education as well. 

In the past three to five years, the market for nursing programs has increased, and is now more competitive than ever. Saint Anselm is ready to defend their impressive program however, with a new presidential commission of esteemed professionals to enhance the program. The commission will be made up of medical professionals, alumni, trustees, and professors at Saint Anselm. Dr. Favazza insists that this group, while making the nursing program even stronger, is not for lack of strength or confidence in the program. “I appointed the commission not because the program is weak, but more to keep it as strong as it always has been.”

 The commission will break into subgroups, led by the three chairs, or leaders of the commission. The three co-chairs of the commission are Dixie Douville, who is a college trustee and professor of nursing at Sacred Heart, Margret Emmons, a trustee and a retired nursing executive from Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical center, and Maureen O’Reilly, the chair of the Saint Anselm nursing department. Each chair will divide into subgroups, which will draft ideas and bring them back to the entirety of the commission, which will then be brought to the board of trustees. Some areas of focus noted by the presidential commission include defining resources and coming up with new ideas for the program and its future. Along with potential external partnerships, as well as “assessing new organizational structures to support the long-term sustainability of the nursing program” (Presidential Commission on Nursing, Commission Charge and Timetable Document). 

The presidential commission will prove to be an extra push that puts the nursing program over the edge, and keep its name in the competitive market that is nursing programs. Appointed by the president of the college, Dr. Joseph Favazza, it will go to prove that Saint Anselm’s nursing program is focused on growing and continuing to be as strong as it has always been. Favazza says he is “hopeful” for the new commission and that “[he is] excited to see where it will take the program in the next three to five years.”