Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree comes to Southern Maryland CSM


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.”

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.

“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 UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling.

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 environment. 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 medical interests.

“The dual admission articulation agreement 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 job

security and the opportunity to learn is endless.”