October 26, 2020

UMW Receives Approval for Residential Nursing Program

Beginning fall 2015, students in a unique nursing program at the University of Mary Washington will be able to live on the Fredericksburg campus while taking courses at both the university and Germanna Community College (GCC).   NursingThe Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Academic Partnership Plan (BSN-APP), commonly referred to as the “1+2+1” BSN Plan, recently received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges,  the accreditation body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern region. Through the program, students complete required liberal arts and nursing prerequisite courses at both UMW and Germanna during the first year; attend the community college during the second and third years to complete an associate’s degree in nursing; then return to UMW for course work during the fourth year to complete the BSN-completion program. “This partnership allows UMW students to major in nursing,” said Pamela McCullough, director of the UMW’s BSN-completion program. “Students can experience the rich residential life of the university while attending both UMW and Germanna.” The program is just one of the nursing education initiatives taking place through partnerships with Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare. The BSN-completion program began accepting students in June 2014 and currently has 33 registered nurses enrolled to complete their degree. The first cohort of students will graduate in spring 2016. For more information about the 1+2+1 program, please visit http://cas.umw.edu/bsn-program/or email BSNProgram@umw.edu.

UMW, Germanna, Mary Washington Healthcare Partner to Improve Nursing Education

A unique partnership in nursing education among the University of Mary Washington, Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare will bolster healthcare services in the region. As an integral step, UMW’s President Richard V. Hurley and Germanna’s President David A. Sam signed three transfer and co-enrollment agreements for nursing education. The articulation agreements were signed on August 11 at the University’s Stafford campus. UMW Provost Jonathan  Levin, left, President Richard V. Hurley, middle, and Germanna's President David Sam sign nursing education agreements. “The University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College recognize the need for registered nurses to achieve advanced learning through an improved education system that promotes a seamless academic progression,” said Hurley. “We want to make sure that our students are ready to be nurses and that we provide the caliber of nursing education that the healthcare industry needs.” Sam added, “Germanna is pleased at this opportunity for nursing students. It is yet another stride forward in the ongoing partnership between GCC and UMW, a partnership that benefits students, our community, and the Commonwealth.” This fall, UMW launches its Bachelor of Science in Nursing-Completion Program, started with a $25,000 grant from Mary Washington Hospital’s Community Benefit Fund. The program is designed for registered nurses who have graduated with an accredited associate’s degree in nursing or from a diploma nursing program. The new articulation agreements:
  • Guarantee admission to UMW’s BSN-completion program for Germanna graduates who have an associate’s degree in nursing, have maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average and meet criteria established by UMW. Under the BSN-completion program direct transfer plan, also known as the “3 + 1” BSN plan, students attend Germanna for three years and spend one year at UMW. The guaranteed admission program is effective beginning with the fall 2014 semester.
  • Allow nursing students who want a four-year residential experience to live on the Fredericksburg campus while taking courses at both Germanna and Mary Washington. Through the BSN Academic Partnership plan, also known as the “1 + 2 + 1” BSN plan, students complete required liberal arts and nursing prerequisite courses at both UMW and Germanna during the first year; attend the community college during the second and third years to complete an associate’s degree in nursing; then return to UMW for course work during the fourth year to complete the BSN-completion program. This program will begin in 2015 pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Permit Germanna nursing students to enroll in the BSN-completion program while working toward an associate’s degree in nursing. In addition, the students may take liberal arts courses at UMW. The BSN Concurrent Enrollment plan begins in 2015, pending SACSCOC approval.
“These agreements will open more doors for nursing students to experience a higher level of learning,” said Pamela McCullough, director of the University’s BSN-completion program. “We’ve created multiple pathways to which members of our community can earn their degrees in nursing.” In addition to the Germanna and UMW agreements, the University has partnered with Mary Washington Healthcare to offer the BSN-completion program to practicing registered nurses who desire a BSN degree. Registered nurses must have earned an associate’s degree or an associate of applied science degree in nursing from a community college or university; or a diploma from a school of nursing. They also must have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Register Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and hold an active license to practice in Virginia. This program begins August 25. The agreements evolved from a cooperative effort involving Mary Washington, Germanna and Mary Washington Healthcare to meet the nursing education needs of the region. Nursing leaders in each institution examined and discussed “Nurse of the Future” guidelines developed by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. “We came together to develop comprehensive nursing programs to deliver the qualified nurses that healthcare agencies demand,” said McCullough. “In nursing, we teach the collaboration of care. This is an excellent example of three nurse leaders coming together to ultimately improve the health of the community.” Marianna Bedway, senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Mary Washington Healthcare, agrees. “All chief nursing officers across the country are challenged to increase the academic preparation of our professional nursing workforce,” said Bedway. “As the CNO of MWHC, I am blessed to have such wonderful community academic partners in GCC and UMW to develop our RNs, their skills and competencies to the highest degree possible. Our partnership will translate into the very best care for our community.” UMW already participates in co-enrollment and direct transfer agreements with Germanna that permit concurrent enrollment and automatic transfer for eligible students. The University also has a guaranteed-admission agreement with Virginia’s two-year colleges, including 23 branches of the Virginia Community College System and Richard Bland College. Students who graduate with an associate’s degree in arts, sciences, or arts and sciences and meet a minimum GPA requirement may obtain guaranteed admission to the University.  

UMW Accepting Applications for Nursing Completion Program

The University of Mary Washington will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, April 1, for its inaugural bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) completion program. The program, which will begin this fall, received final approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on March 18. UMW's bachelor of science in nursing completion program will begin in fall 2014. Image courtesy of Mary Washington Healthcare. The program is designed for registered nurses who have graduated with an accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing program and have a registered nurse (RN) license. The program, available both full-time and part-time, will combine online and face-to-face classroom learning. UMW plans to maintain the tradition of small class sizes to allow students to have a one-on-one relationship with faculty. In addition to higher level nursing courses, the BSN completion program includes coursework which allow nurses to make connections between their everyday clinical nursing situations and the liberal arts disciplines, including advanced writing techniques, sociology courses on global health and medicine, and medical ethics. “Continuing one’s education to the bachelor level encourages the registered nurse to see a more global picture of healthcare,” said Dr. Pamela McCullough, director of the program. “The nurse is looking at populations instead of individuals and is learning how to think using different models. It’s exposure to different ways of thinking.” For more information about admissions criteria or the program’s curriculum, visit http://cas.umw.edu/bsn-program/. For admission questions, contact Sarah Lindberg at slindber@umw.edu. For questions related to the curriculum, contact Pamela McCullough at pmccullo@umw.edu.

New Director Brings Expertise to UMW’s Nursing Completion Program

Pamela McCullough has a nearly 35-year nursing career, a focus on patient-centered care, and a passion for the liberal arts.

Pamela McCullough

Pamela McCullough

Now, she is taking the helm of the University of Mary Washington’s new bachelor of science in nursing completion program, which is slated to begin this fall. The program is designed for registered nurses who have graduated with an accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing program.

“Continuing your education to the bachelor level makes you able to see a more global picture of healthcare,” she said. “You are looking at populations instead of individuals. You are learning how to think using different models. It’s exposure to different ways of thinking.”

McCullough pointed to recent studies that show patient outcomes are improved when at least 80 percent of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees.

“Not only does the employer want it, but there is an advantage for the individual,” she said. “[The curriculum] focuses on how to think outside the box.”

As an undergraduate, she started out as a theater major, then started her nursing coursework. Those connections between the liberal arts and healthcare drew her to UMW’s program.

McCullough, herself a registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner, wants the degree program to be a good fit for working nurses.

“I want to make it flexible and individualized,” she said. “Some nurses will want to go fast and some will go slow. I want to adapt our program to meet their needs.”

The coursework will include classes that allow nurses to make connections between their everyday situations and liberal arts disciplines, including advanced writing techniques, sociology courses on global health and medicine, and medical ethics.

McCullough has lived in the Fredericksburg area since 1998. Most recently, she spent more than two years as nursing program director at Stratford University in Woodbridge. She also spent a decade as a certified nurse practitioner at Pratt Pediatrics in Fredericksburg.

She received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and post-master’s certificate from the Catholic University of America and a doctor of nursing practice from Old Dominion University. She completed her doctoral capstone project at UMW’s Student Health Center from 2009 to 2011.

For more information about the program, please contact McCullough at pmccullo@umw.edu.