Sep 26


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Shenandoah’s Division of Nursing to Celebrate 50 Years

For 50 years, the nursing program has prepared graduates who deliver, manage and lead nursing care in a variety of healthcare settings, and who participate in personal and professional development.

Shenandoah University’s Division of Nursing is gearing up for a celebration that will mark a half-century of service to the nursing community. For 50 years, the program has prepared graduates who deliver, manage and lead nursing care in a variety of healthcare settings, and who participate in personal and professional development. “This is such an exciting time for the Division of Nursing, and we are looking forward to celebrating this landmark in our school’s history,” said Dr. Kathryn Ganske, director of Shenandoah’s Division of Nursing. “We have served the local and global communities well over the past 50 years, and cannot wait to see what the next 50 years have in store for us.”

A formal celebration event will be held the evening of Friday, Oct. 5 on the main campus of Shenandoah University in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming weekend festivities. The program for the evening will feature selected speakers including faculty, students and alumni of the nursing program as well as key healthcare partners from the community. Invited guests will enjoy refreshments, dancing and entertainment. 

The current nursing program at Shenandoah University originated in 1962, when the Winchester Memorial Hospital (now Winchester Medical Center) chose to transfer its diploma nursing program to an academic setting. The program began as a two-year, Associate of Science (ASN) degree with a major in nursing. 

In 1981, based on a specific community need for nurses educationally prepared at a more advanced level, the Division of Nursing initiated a post-Registered Nurse (RN) baccalaureate nursing program. Based on the assessed need for nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level, a traditional four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program was introduced in the fall of 2000, and the ASN program was phased out in 2001. 

In 1996, the Division of Nursing initiated the first graduate nursing programs in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, with the goal of meeting the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s need for advanced practice nurses. Four tracks were developed including family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, nurse- midwifery and health systems management. The midwifery program remains the first and only midwifery program in the state of Virginia and the 51st in the country. 

In 2008, Shenandoah University admitted its first class in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program, the first doctoral nursing degree offered in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. The DNP curriculum provides nurses who hold either a BSN or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the opportunity to 

earn a terminal degree in nursing practice; this option applies only to BSNs majoring in an advanced practice track at Shenandoah or advanced practice nurses currently in practice. 

In addition to programs offered in Winchester, Shenandoah University has offered nursing programs at its Northern Virginia Campus in Leesburg, Va./Ashburn, Va., since 2003.

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