Augusta Health and Mary Baldwin Collaborate on Nursing Education

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mary Baldwin College and Augusta Health are collaborating to create and support a new RN-to-BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree completion program at Mary Baldwin's Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Augusta Health will provide a sponsorship of $60,000 a year for five years to support the new degree program, which will help Augusta Health nurses meet new rigorous national education requirements.

The Institute of Medicine's new standards call for an increase in the proportion of hospital-based nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020.

"Augusta Health is proud to work with Mary Baldwin College and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences to provide continuing educational opportunities for our nurses and for all nurses in the community," said Mary N. Mannix, FACHE, President and CEO of Augusta Health. "We value our partnership with Mary Baldwin's new College of Health Sciences, and our joint commitment to education. I began my career as a hospital nurse, so I am personally aware of the importance of providing advanced educational programs close to home, allowing nurses to continue to serve patients in their own community while working on advanced educational degrees. So both personally and professionally, I am excited about this new program."

The RN-to-BSN program will be offered online, with face-to-face support provided as needed at the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences campus currently under construction near Augusta Health in Fishersville. The new program will be open to all registered nurses in the region. Augusta Health's Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Robert McWhirt, RN, DNP, has been named to the program's planning committee.

"Mary Baldwin has benefited from the goodwill, professional expertise, and wise advice of our colleagues at Augusta Health as we work to launch Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Their sponsorship now allows us to develop another degree program that will serve Virginia's RN-prepared nurses, and through them their patients and indeed our broader community," said MBC President Pamela Fox. "We are so very grateful for their confidence in us and the opportunity to collaborate for the greater good."

Augusta Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please contact Public Relations at (540) 245-7329 or (540) 221-7329, or visit the Augusta Health website.