May 29, 2024

UMW Nursing Program Helps Meet Critical Need

Rileigh Ecker ’21 earned her BSN degree through the 1+2+1 program, one of three BSN tracks that are part of the partnership between UMW, Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare. Photo credit: Courtney Morgan Photography.

Rileigh Ecker ’21 earned her BSN degree through the 1+2+1 program, one of three BSN tracks that are part of the partnership between UMW, Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare. Photo credit: Courtney Morgan Photography.

Abigail Zimmerman has done her part to help curb COVID. The University of Mary Washington senior vaccinated dozens of Fredericksburg area residents as a hospital volunteer this spring.

“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Zimmerman, a UMW nursing student. “I know I’m in the right place, positively impacting the lives of people around me.”

In the midst of a global pandemic and critical nursing shortage, her chosen profession is needed now more than ever. Three pathways, offered by UMW in conjunction with community partners, are helping aspiring nurses answer that call. One of these tracks even gives students like Zimmerman the chance to live on campus, while gaining clinical experience and completing coursework infused with the liberal arts and uniquely designed to inform their careers.

The pandemic changed how society views nurses, said UMW Director of Nursing Janet Atarthi-Dugan, who oversees all three pathways, made possible through agreements with Germanna Community College (GCC) and Mary Washington Healthcare (MWH). The tracks, formed in 2015, also include a BSN completion program for current registered nurses and one that provides a seamless transition for community college students planning to transfer to Mary Washington. Read more.