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2009 News Releases

Melody Eaton named chair of Longwood's nursing department

July 15, 2009

Melody Eaton Dr. Melody Eaton

Dr. Melody Eaton has been named chair of the nursing department at Longwood University. The first class of nursing students, scheduled to graduate from Longwood in 2013, will begin classes in August. Thirty-two women and men are enrolled in the nursing program.

"It is both an honor and a privilege to join this community as chair Longwood's new nursing program," said Dr. Eaton. The current nursing shortage reduces access to care and quality of care for Virginia citizens. This program will produce highly qualified nursing professionals, and, at the same time, become part of the solution to the nursing shortage within our local community and the Commonwealth."

Dr. Eaton previously served as program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at James Madison University. A certified nurse educator, she earned her Ph.D. from George Mason University, M.B.A. from George Washington University, and B.S.N. from James Madison University. Dr. Eaton has experience in a variety of nursing and healthcare management positions as well as in critical care, acute medicine and surgery, cardiac catheterization, and community clinical nursing.

"The new nursing program will allow Longwood University to meet a critical need for health care in south-central Virginia," said Longwood President Patricia Cormier. "We are very pleased to be adding a nursing degree to our curriculum, and we look forward to graduating our first class of nurses."

In January 2009 the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBN) and the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) in Virginia approved the curriculum for Longwood's BSN program. In addition to approval from SCHEV and the VBN, the program includes the essential content recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination to practice professional nursing as a registered nurse (RN).

The mission of Longwood's BSN program is to promote excellence in nursing education and clinical competency; to promote the development of citizen leaders in the nursing profession; to promote partnerships to enhance health care and health care education in the region; to be one component of the solution to the nursing shortage; and to improve the health of local communities. The program will be administered through the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences. To learn more about Longwood's BSN program visit www.longwood.edu/nursing.