New nursing program to begin enrollment
BY NEPHTHALIE LAUTURE
The University of Mary Washington Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Program (BSN) began accepting applications on Tuesday, April 1.
The program received pending approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia on March 18 and is set to begin offering classes in August 2014 at the Stafford Campus. Students can choose to be full-time or part-time and to either take night or online classes.
BSN is designed for graduates of associate’s programs or diploma certificates who hold an RN (Registered Nurse) license in Virginia and desire to gain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The program will teach students to make connections between and apply the learnings from both clinical nursing and liberal arts disciplines.
“Our thirty credits include nine credits for the liberal arts, and that’s just part of the tradition of the Mary Washington feel of liberal arts. They’re very appropriate,” said Pamela McCullough, the newly appointed director of the BSN program.
To incorporate liberal arts into the program there are several options available for students.
“One is medical ethics and the other is a writing process. The other ones, they choose from a pool: social psychology, medical psychology and sociology of global health. That’s how they incorporated liberal arts into the program,” said McCullough.
The idea for a nursing completion program came about from Marianna Bedway, the chief nursing officer at Mary Washington Health Center.
“When I met with her, she said it was the imprint she wanted to leave in the Fredericksburg area,” said McCullough.
Although the Fredericksburg community was growing in population, it still lacked nursing education completion programs. The primary provider of such education is at Germanna Community College, which only provides associate’s programs.
Through Bedway’s initiation, the Community Benefit Fund of Mary Washington Health Center donated a grant to begin the development of the program.
“She really pulled it together between the local hospital, the University of Mary Washington and Germanna to come together to make this happen,” said McCullough.
After the grant and pending approval, McCullough worked to develop the curriculum for the program.
The BSN program requires 120 credits to graduate. Thirty of those credits will be gained from nursing licensure, which leaves 60 credits to be gained. The first 30 can be transferred from previous universities, which usually tend to be community colleges, through general education requirements. The remaining 30 will be gained at the University of Mary Washington from nursing, social sciences and humanitarian courses.
For admission, full time and part time prospective students must have an associate’s degree or be licensed as an RN. An application, updated resume, recommendations and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 are also required.
“I am looking for someone who has been waiting for the opportunity to go back to school. I’m hoping that the nurses who come to our program have been waiting for this to happen and they want to explore the potential they have within themselves that further education can help them achieve,” said McCullough.