The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and the University of Maryland
School of Nursing (UMSON) signed an agreement of dual admission April 8
to bring a seamless transition from the Associate of Science in Nursing
to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to Southern
Maryland.

“Over the years, the CSM nursing program’s success has resulted in
strong community partnerships such as collaborations between the college
and regional health care facilities to provide support for health care
education. Today, we celebrate another outstanding partnership,” said
CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

“CSM has established a solid reputation as the leading resource for
accessible education and academic excellence to the citizens of Southern
Maryland. It is vitally important to me that the college is always
looking ahead for workforce disruptions,” said CSM Trustees Chair
Michael L. Middleton on the looming need for nurses with a BSN to meet
new standards under the Affordable Care Act. “If we don’t address
this need, a critical shortage of nurses will be upon us in a very short
time.”

“This effort has been fully supported by our local hospitals,” said
Middleton. “Noel Cervino, president and CEO at University of Maryland
Charles Regional Medical Center, was among the initial supporters
providing critical input and strategic direction in crafting an approach
during the inception phase. Together with Noel, Christine Wray,
president of MedStar St. Mary’s and MedStar Southern Maryland, and
Calvert Memorial’s Former CEO James Xinis have championed this
initiative throughout the process. They all share in today’s success as
we announce this unique program.”

To fill the workforce need, CSM partnered with UMSON to design a dual
admission program for current or incoming nursing students. Students
apply to both schools simultaneously and progress through the nursing
program satisfying requirements of both schools. In addition to transfer
credits for completed coursework, UMSON will award students 30 credits
toward their UMSON BSN upon verification of an active RN license. BSN
coursework can be completed through Web hybrid courses taught on-site at
CSM by UMSON faculty.

“This agreement is one of the milestones of this year [at UMSON] as
we are celebrating our 125th anniversary as a school of nursing,” said
UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “I’m so excited and so
pleased that this legacy in terms of the partnership with the College of
Southern Maryland could be a part of our 125th celebration of nursing
excellence for Maryland’s nurses.”

“The 2010 Institute of Medicine report [on the future of nursing]
said that by 2020, 80 percent of our nurses need to hold a baccalaureate
degree or higher. Baccalaureate programs in this country can’t meet
that target; we can only meet it when we embrace and welcome these
opportunities to partner together between associate degree and
baccalaureate education,” said Kirschling.

“It is the associate degree nurse programs that bring a wide variety
of diversity to our nursing workforce,” said CSM Health Sciences
Division Chair Dr. Laura Polk. “One of the hallmarks of this agreement
is that we are going to be able to meet with students very early in
their education and help them identify a pathway so that they can
complete general education credits that are required for both the
associate and bachelor’s degrees,” said Polk. Students in the
program will be granted special student status which will allow them to
take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree.

Students in the program will be granted special student status which
allows them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate
degree.

For 40 years, CSM’s nursing department has been one of the region’s
primary providers of quality healthcare training. Today, the college
graduates about 90 nursing students each academic year with the majority
finding employment in the Washington, D. C. metro area and Southern
Maryland.

“This agreement is important to me because it means that students
like me can continue our education toward a bachelor degree right here
in Southern Maryland at a great nursing school that is highly
respected,” said CSM Third-Semester Nursing Student Suzanne Hammett of
Lexington Park.

Hammett is a mother of two young children who returned to school in
order to create a better life for her family after her marriage ended.
When her father suggested college and taking advantage of a second
chance, Hammett chose nursing. “The labor and delivery nurses were so
kind and caring when I had my daughters, I knew that if I had the
opportunity I would like to pursue a career in nursing,” she said.

“A dual admission opportunity such as this one and having high
quality academic resources available locally is particularly attractive
to a student like me, as I appreciate the face-to-face instruction
rather than learning in an online environsent. The traditional classroom
experience is much more conducive to fostering supportive relationships
with my professors, and developing study groups with fellow students,”
said Valerie Dowell of Lusby.

At age 38, Dowell was a single mother after the death of her husband.
She chose to enter the nursing program because it provided a stable
career and combined her humanitarian and sedical interests.

“The dual admission articulation agreesent expands the opportunity
for students to succeed and pursue their lifelong goals right here in
the community,” said Lindsey Acquaviva of Swan Point.

Acquaviva chose CSM for her education in nursing because of the
credibility of the program and how highly recognized it is in the
community, she said. “Nursing is such an exciting career option
because it has so much to offer. In nursing you will find great joc
security and the opportunity to learn is endless.”