Stanbridge University President Yasith Weerasuriya on the Need for Advanced Nursing Education

Improvements in health care are expected to occur quickly, with nurses needing the training to handle the changes. As President of Stanbridge University, Yasith Weerasuriya is there to help make it happen. We spoke to him about the need for advanced training and education in the nursing profession.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for nurses is positive, projecting significant employment growth between 2012 and 2022. In addition, as baby boomers approach their retirement years, they will require more medical assistance than the generations before them did. This means that there will be a greater need for advanced education in nursing to meet the demands of the healthcare industry.

Stanbridge University is an institution of higher education offering degrees in nursing and allied health, with campuses in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, and online. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). In addition, the BLS reports that employment for registered nurses is expected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Yasith Weerasuriya, President of Stanbridge University, spoke with us about the opportunity for nurses and healthcare professionals in California and across the country:

“Job prospects for both RNs and LPNs are excellent—in fact, they’ve never been better,” he said. “The need for more nurses is being driven largely by the aging of our population, and patients have better outcomes when someone is there to provide continuous care. In addition, baby boomers are going to need more health care as they get older, so that’s driving this.”

Weerasuriya said that Stanbridge University does see a growing trend of nurses seeking advanced degrees. “We see a lot of nurses go back to school to advance their degrees to either Masters, or post-RN Bachelors, or post-master’s RN certificates. As hospitals are getting more sophisticated care, they require nurses to have higher qualifications,” he said. “Also, in the interest of patient safety, hospitals are trying to minimize any risk by having highly educated RNs in the healthcare workforce.”

Weerasuriya cited a May 2012 study that found that California’s nursing shortage could be alleviated by significant numbers of qualified nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher. “In California alone, it’s been estimated that more than 30,000 RNs could be trained by 2020 if colleges and universities offered 2-year accelerated programs for registered nurses,” he said.

Stanbridge University offers degree and diploma programs in nursing and allied health, with several specializations available at the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) since 1984, making it one of the longest-standing institutions to meet quality standards in career education.

“I’m proud to say that the Stanbridge University faculty are deeply committed to teaching, research, and service,” Weerasuriya said. “Our mission is to prepare nurses for rewarding careers in nursing practice, research, education, and administration.”

He concluded by saying, “Nurses who earn a bachelor’s or higher degree have a greater opportunity to take on leadership roles in the nursing profession, opening many doors for career advancement.”