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GW School of Nursing to Support Rural Health Care | Schools

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GW School of Nursing to Support Rural Health Care


From Jill Sankey: Officials from the George Washington University School of Nursing and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College formalized a partnership agreement today that will allow nursing students from the community college to pursue advanced education while still serving the communities they live in. 


            To address the local and national health care issue of access to primary care, GW approached Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC) last spring about working together to improve the critical health care needs in rural Virginia. The resulting partnership has the potential to greatly improve primary care access in the Shenandoah Valley. Educating just four new nurses a year will create approximately 20,000 new primary care visits annually.  Also, bringing midwifery to these communities is critical since no obstetricians practice there.


            "This innovative public-private partnership directly addresses Governor McDonnell’s call for more Virginians earning degrees, particularly in high demand fields like health care,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. “Ensuring underserved communities receive the medical care they need is important to the health of our communities as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia. This partnership represents a firm commitment from two schools of excellence and one we hope will serve as a model for the rest of the state and the country."


DSLCC offers an associate degree in nursing program.   GW School of Nursing developed a new associate degree (AD) to master’s (MSN) degree program with two tracks: family nurse practitioner and midwifery.  Together, GW and DSLCC are creating a cohort initiative for the AD-MSN program.  As part of this, students can complete program prerequisites at DSLCC.


“DSLCC students are some of the most dedicated and talented individuals we have the privilege of serving,” said DSLCC President Richard Teaff. “Graduates of our nursing program are known for being very well-prepared when they begin employment and now, those who seek personal and professional development opportunities for advancement will not have to leave the area to do so.”


Students enrolled in the GW AD-MSN program will  complete their coursework online.  Students’ clinical preceptorships will be in  community clinical practice sites as near to their home communities as possible, and GW faculty will conduct site visits.  Students may exit the program midway with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.  This provides students with an academic credential option in the event “life happens” and helps hospitals meet their requirements for BSN-educated nurses.


"The partnership we have with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College brings together people who share the commitment to improving access to health care,” said GW School of Nursing Dean Jean Johnson. “It has been very rewarding to work with faculty from both institutions who are willing to be creative and take risks to try something new. Advancing the education of nurses is a win for the community. We feel very fortunate to be in this partnership and look forward to continuing to explore additional ways that we can work together.”



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