Wor-Wic nurses will have bachelor’s opportunity

A new agreement of dual admission between the University of Maryland School of Nursing and Wor-Wic Community College will allow students to progress from Wor-Wic’s nursing program, to the University of Maryland’s nursing program, where they can earn a bachelor of science degree.

At Wor-Wic, nursing students earn associate degrees.

Wor-Wic is the 12th community college in Maryland that will let students begin taking classes at the University of Maryland while still completing associate degrees, helping them complete both degrees more quickly.

Dr. Kristin Mallory, Vice president of Academic Affairs at Wor-Wic, told the Salisbury Independent the program provides opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree online.

“They apply to the University of Maryland when they complete their third semester here at Wor-Wic and they are accepted if they have the grades and meet the requirements,” she said.

Wor-Wic enrolls 120 to 140 nursing students each year, with admission twice yearly.

At Wor-Wic, students complete requirements to become practical nurses the first year and registered nurses the second year.

Wor-Wic students will be immersed in upper-level coursework, preparing them for a smooth transition into the Baltimore program. Students will receive transfer credits for completed coursework at Wor-Wic.

Continuing at the University of Maryland will allow them to further their education, which improves opportunity for employment.

Mallory said more hospitals now want a percentage of nurses to have bachelor’s degrees.

The goal is to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

A financial gift from Bill and Joanne Conway, through the Bedford Falls Foundation, is enabling the University of Maryland School of Nursing to pay for courses in the dual-admission partnership.

“Supporting nurses within these communities to progress academically is crucial to the health of these rural areas,” said Linda Murray, an assistant professor and director of the nursing program at the University of Maryland.

“Many of these future BSN-prepared nurses will choose to continue on to an advanced practice role serving their home communities and providing people there with the services of a trusted professional,” she said.

“The collaborative partnership between Wor-Wic and UMSON is such a grand opportunity,” said Brenda J. Mister, department head and Professor of Nursing at Wor-Wic.

“It will enable our students to pursue their educational goals toward earning their BSN and to advance their nursing careers while improving the overall health of the community,” she said.

Aimed at increasing the number of qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping further the mission of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to transform health care through nursing.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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