Cabrini University is closing its doors after the 2023-2024 school year, but the newly added nursing program is shut down for this upcoming school year. The program was added in the fall of 2020 and now ends in fewer than four years.
Nursing students found out in August in an email about a week after Cabrini’s closing announcement. Then they found out that they would have to transfer schools immediately as the nursing school would no longer be accredited at the end of the school year.
Cabrini’s interim director of nursing, Dr. Kelly Flanigan, said, “From the time of the initial announcement back in June, the nursing faculty and staff knew that we had to do what was best for our students, even if it meant that we had to close the nursing program this year,” she said. “Within a few days of the announcement, we met the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing because we had to follow the rules and regulations set forth by them. It was during the meeting with the board that they provided us with information that led us to close the program this academic year because it is what is best for our students.”
Nurses under transfer time crunch
The university’s sudden change in status caused significant financial and emotional stress on Cabrini’s nursing majors who must quickly find a new school that accepts all of their credits.
Junior Grace Langfeld said, “Credits are difficult to transfer for nursing due to the different curriculums that each school has, as well as the standards of each nursing department.”
Langfeld was forced to transfer to nearby Eastern University to finish her degree in May of 2025. “Although we are scheduled to graduate on time still, we spent money on scrubs at Cabrini and then we had to buy a whole new set of scrubs for Eastern. Also, with transferring paperwork between schools, we had to put out some more money for that,” she said.
Not much help from Cabrini
Initially, students say, Cabrini was helpful in giving partner school suggestions, but not much help after that.
“Cabrini was helpful in setting up information for our partner schools but once we decided on a partner school they stepped out of the picture and the nursing students were pretty much on their own to figure everything out,” said Langfeld.
Another junior nursing student, Hailey Bond, said, “Many of our teachers up and left and left us to figure out everything on our own. Now I’m stressed that all my credits will not be able to transfer.”
Bond will not be able to graduate next spring due to being a semester behind from transferring. Eastern and Cabrini have not been able to give much information.
“I have not been given an answer to why I am not able to graduate on time. My parents have sent numerous emails to people and we are still unclear. I understand that everyone was blindsided but they still owe it to us to figure out these next steps,” Bond said.
Calling for action
Angry parents also took to the comment section of Cabrini’s Facebook page to share their outrage.
One commenter, Nicole Hilt Stolarski, said “@CabriniUniversity should have NEVER accepted these students knowing their doors would have been closing (that decision doesn’t happen overnight). Each of these students has worked so hard over these past few years and that work should not be considered throw away. The right thing would be to take all their credits so they do not have to repeat another year, grandfather in their financial aid and grants so as they do not need to carry a burden for which they didn’t plan for, and help them to be successful people and nurses in this world.”
Many students have been impacted by Cabrini’s closing, but at least most students have a year to figure out their next steps. These nursing students were given less than a month to plan for their futures.