CSM, UMSON Program Registration Deadline is Dec. 1 for Spring Semester

LA PLATA, Md.—Registration for dual admission in the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Associate of Science in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is open through Dec. 1 for the spring semester. Graduates of CSM’s nursing degree program as well as current nursing students can apply for the program and register for web-hybrid courses scheduled for the spring 2016 semester.

CSM and UMSON, with financial support from the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance, teamed up to provide a seamless transition from the Associate of Science in Nursing to a BSN degree. This pathway to a higher level of education for nurses will help area hospitals to meet the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing recommendation that 80 percent of nurses have a BSN by 2020.

“Over the years, the CSM nursing program’s success has resulted in strong community partnerships, such as collaborations between the college and regional healthcare facilities. The collaboration with UMSON to provide our Associate Degree nurses with the ability to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing is critically important. This program could not be implemented without the generous support of the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance has provided $135,000 in funds to cover the first-year costs associated with the program. Funds will be used to hire a CSM nursing faculty and dual admissions coordinator who will also be designated adjunct faculty at UMSON. This will allow students to take the UMSON BSN courses at CSM’s La Plata Campus rather than commute to Baltimore. “This partnership is so important to our region because it means that nursing students as well as practicing nurses can continue to work in Southern Maryland while they pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and meet the needs of area hospitals,” said CSM Health Sciences Division Chair Laura Polk, Ph.D., RN, CNE.

“This agreement is the culmination of two years of planning and determination,” said Noel A. Cervino, president and CEO of University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC). “This will offer opportunities for our nursing workforce to access a broader scope of educational opportunities and allow us to continue to attract and retain highly skilled nurses at UM CRMC. We are grateful for the vision of past CSM Board Chair Mike Middleton, Jay A. Perman, M.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and Bruce Jarrell, M.D., FACS, senior vice president of academic affairs and chief academic and research officer at UMB and Jane Kirschling, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of University of Maryland School of Nursing, for forging the agreement and to my CEO colleagues at Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance, Christine Wray, MedStar Health and Dean Teague, Calvert Memorial Hospital for funding this program.”

“This support from the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance will help build enrollment and offset associated costs as we continue to implement our dual admission program with the College of Southern Maryland,” said Kirschling. “We truly appreciate the alliance’s contribution and partnership that will help us achieve our goal of increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Maryland.”

“I’m so grateful to the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance for funding the program’s startup costs,” said Perman. “We are fully committed to helping more nurses and nursing students from Southern Maryland enroll in a BSN program and take on the kind of collaborative health care team leadership expected of nurses today. This generous support from the alliance will help the region’s nurses advance their education, which will undoubtedly produce better care and better health outcomes for the residents of Southern Maryland.”

Practicing registered nurses (RNs) with an Associate Degree in Nursing as well as current and incoming CSM nursing students can apply for the dual admission program to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing at UMSON.

Dominique Tecson, 23, of Waldorf, anticipates that the dual admission program will have a huge impact on her nursing career. Currently, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Inova Fairfax Medical Center, Tecson has been working toward an associate degree in nursing at CSM with anticipated graduation this winter. “I believe that the completion of the RN to BSN program will benefit me by building on top of my skills and knowledge in order to become a better nurse. With my foundation from CSM, I’m looking forward to completing additional nursing education through the University of Maryland School of Nursing to be able to deliver more effective patient care with evidenced-based practice.”

In April, UMSON and CSM signed a dual admissions agreement which allows students to 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.

A second agreement signed in August now enables nurses currently practicing at area hospitals to also take advantage of the program.

“This is a great opportunity not only for our nursing students here at CSM, but for the registered nurses working in Southern Maryland to advance their education in their own backyard and meet the needs of area hospitals and populations served,” said Michael Walls, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CSM faculty and dual admissions coordinator.

Deadline to apply to the dual admission program is Dec. 1. Admission requirements include a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) with a science GPA of 2.75.

Once accepted into the program, students will be able to register for NURS 450: “RN to BSN Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy and the Profession.”

The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance (Calvert Memorial Hospital, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center) was formed in1994 to advocate for Southern Maryland healthcare policy and improve access to care for the region.

For information on CSM’s nursing program, visit http://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/credit/academic-divisions/hea/nursing/index.html.

For information on the CSM-UMSON dual admission program, contact Walls atmwalls@csmd.edu.

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