With the national nursing shortage expected to top 250,000 by 2010, the need to attract more students into the nursing profession is a critical charge for schools of nursing all over the country. In addition to specifically expanding its enrollment by 20 percent this year, Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing met this challenge head-on, seeking out a dual degree partnership with Agnes Scott College to attract a new crop of students.
Emory nursing dean Marla Salmon ScD, RN, FAAN worked in tandem with Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt, Agnes Scott's vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, to develop the recently signed dual degree program, which will begin next fall with its first enrollees.
The program gives students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor of arts degree from Agnes Scott and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Emory University in five years.
"We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Agnes Scott, one of the leading women's liberal arts colleges in the nation," Salmon said. "The dual-degree program enables us to reach out to a whole other community of very smart and talented students who may not originally have considered nursing. The opportunity to bring in these student scholars, who have this background in liberal arts, complements our vision for preparing the nursing leaders who will transform care."
The distinctive "3/2" program is available to any student enrolled at Agnes Scott. Students must apply for the program within their first four semesters at Agnes Scott, where they would complete three years of a liberal arts education and then, upon meeting program criteria including pre-requisite classes and a minimum 3.0 GPA, they would transfer to Emory to complete the BSN program in two years.
Agnes Scott's Zumwalt believes students will seize the opportunity for a dual degree. "This program gives students interested in nursing the best both Agnes Scott and Emory have to offer - an exceptional foundation in the liberal arts and a degree in nursing from one of the most prominent programs in the United States," Zumwalt said. "Agnes Scott women possess the self assurance and critical thinking skills required for success in any profession, and certainly mandatory in nursing."
The 2004-2005 academic year marks the beginning of what the schools expect to be a long and prosperous partnership fostering women's education through liberal arts and health sciences. Zumwalt and Salmon anticipate enthusiastic response among both faculty and students to the dual degree program, and look forward to the first students entering Emory's nursing program in the near future.
About The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is recognized as a leader in the preparation of nurses for beginning and advanced practice. Graduates of the programs are at the forefront in leadership, serving as role models for excellence in nursing practice throughout the world. The School of Nursing is especially committed to evolving nursing practice through its key values of scholarship, leadership and social responsibility. To learn more, visit www.nursing.emory.edu or call 404-727-6907.
About Agnes Scott College Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location - offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. Additional information may be obtained at www.agnesscott.edu or by calling 404-471-6200.