West Georgia Announces School of Nursing

Monday, September 29, 2008

The University of West Georgia announces the establishment of a School of Nursing, effective September 2008. Since it became a program of study in 1974, nursing has been a department in the College of Arts and Sciences. With its dramatic growth in offerings and enrollment in the past few years, nursing can better serve its students, faculty and the community by its designation as an autonomous unit and separate school at UWG.

Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, provost for UWG, supported the new organizational structure as a means to enhance UWG’s efforts to provide nurses for the state of Georgia.

“Separate school status for nursing is timely as this structure will better prepare the university to assist our nursing program in its efforts to adapt to the changing environment of health care and the growing demand for nurses within that changing environment,” Hynes said.

Georgia and the United States are experiencing severe shortages of nurses providing direct patient care in the community; and colleges and universities are experiencing severe shortages in nursing faculty. In addition to providing quality nurses for the citizens of Georgia, recognition as a School of Nursing will increase UWG’s program visibility, and facilitate the recruitment and retention of high quality students and faculty members.

Dr. Kathryn Grams, formerly the chair of the Department of Nursing, has been named as the first dean of the new UWG School of Nursing, which offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing and enrolls students on campuses in Carrollton, Dalton, Newnan and Rome.

“In the last academic year, 117 graduates received degrees in nursing with 99 percent of the pre-licensure graduates passing the national licensing exam on their first attempt,” Grams said. “This year, more than 325 students are enrolled in nursing courses and more than 800 have declared nursing as a major at UWG.”

All current degree programs are nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the BSN programs have full approval by the Georgia Board of Nursing.

Funding for a School of Nursing facility is on the capital request list for the University System of Georgia and it is hoped that funding for the design of the facility will be approved during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.