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2009 News Releases

Longwood University nursing program to begin in fall 2009

February 2, 2009


On January 28, the Virginia Board of Nursing (VBN) approved a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Longwood University. The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) granted approval for the nursing program on January 6. Longwood will immediately begin recruiting students for the first class, which is expected to enroll 35 students with classes to begin in fall 2009.

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 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."

"Nurses can work anywhere," said Dr. Jean Sorrells-Jones, program director for the Longwood’s BSN program. "Because there is an acute shortage of professional nurses, the career options are many and varied, and nearly recession-proof. Our program will prepare nurses to practice in acute settings like hospitals, or in rural communities."   SCHEV estimates that Virginia will need to double its average number of new RN licenses per year to meet the demand for new RN positions and replace retiring nurses. SCHEV has recommended that the nursing shortage be addressed by increasing nursing education program capacity. Existing programs cannot meet the demand and, in fact, are turning away qualified students. 

"Longwood is the perfect setting for a nursing program," said Kristin Windon, assistant project director of the BSN program. "The university provides a private college atmosphere and offers the benefits of a state-supported university. The required general education courses in the nursing curriculum are already available and the resources that students need to be successful in the academic setting are also currently available."

Longwood’s quest to build a nursing program began in September 2007 when the Board of Visitors approved a resolution granting permission for a $392,293 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Education Funding project to fund the hiring of a program director, a curriculum expert, and two professors during the planning year of the program.

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.

Evidence indicates that BSN-prepared nurses make a difference in health care. The majority of registered nurses in the Farmville region have an associate degree, rather than a bachelor’s degree. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice has urged that at least two-thirds of the nurse workforce hold bachelor’s or higher degrees in nursing by 2010. While nursing has always been a popular career choice for women, the challenging work, good salaries, and job security are drawing many more men into the nursing profession.

To learn more about Longwood’s BSN program visit www.longwood.edu/nursing or contact the Admissions Office at 1.800.281.4677.